Celebrity chef’s burger joint opens in Va.

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay rolls up his sleeves and works the kitchen on the opening day of Bobby\'s Burger Palace in Woodbridge. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – He may be a fancy chef, but he also loves burgers.

Food Network star and celebrity chef Bobby Flay opened a burger joint in Woodbridge this past week.

“Alright, we’re open for business, everybody,” Flay said to the crowd of about 100 people standing in line outside as he opened the doors.

With that, he began greeting customers as they entered Bobby’s Burger Palace at Potomac Mills Mall.

“We’ve been working on securing a place in Potomac Mills for a couple of years,” Flay says.

This is his 15th burger place nationwide and the location was a logical next step.

“We have two restaurants in Maryland, one at Maryland Live and one in College Park, and we also have one in Washington, D.C.,” he says, adding that he also intends to open an eatery in Bethesda, Md.

But Bobby wasn’t just a pretty face opening the restaurant. He was in the kitchen working.

“I was back there trying to get the kitchen open,” he says. “You know, get them off to a good start. My name’s on the door, so I have to make sure everything is rolling right.”

When Flay puts his name on something, he says that doesn’t mean he just takes out a rubber stamp and hopes for the best.

“I’m very hands-on in all my businesses,” Flay says. “It’s the only way I know I can control the quality and make sure people have a superior product.”

Although he went to culinary school and has numerous high-end restaurants, Flay says he loves burgers. After dropping out of high school, he needed a job. The solution? Working in a restaurant.

The job may have spawned a love of food in him, but he says he watches his waistline.

“I wake up thinking about food every single day of my life,” Flay says. “I run and think about food at the same time.”

Before the big opening day in Woodbridge, Flay says he was up at 4:30 a.m., hitting the treadmill.

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