Ottawa native Brad Miller has hosted his own TV show, owns his own restaurant, stood as a brand ambassador, among other roles, but his new project might be one of his most ambitious.
Along with his business partner, Luke Tabit, Miller is working toward opening a restaurant inside the Metaverse called L&B Burger Boy that will make use of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. Their idea, though, is different from typical NFTs, such as Lazy Lions or Bored Apes. Miller and Tabit’s NFTs have utility, a benefit to ownership that extends beyond the internet.
Miller and Tabit will occasionally drop a special NFT that works like a coupon for free food, whether that means fries and a drink or a burger.
“All of this is extraordinarily complex,” Miller said. “It’s hard to explain if you’re not really involved in NFTs or don’t already have a base knowledge of them.”
Miller explains NFTs are worldwide, a decentralized contract that lives on a system called the blockchain, a system that holds a record of transactions made in cryptocurrency. This contract denotes ownership of the digital artwork.
How do NFTs and the Metaverse play into Miller and Tabit’s new project?
Those who own the digital artwork, a picture of a young boy with tattoos just like Miller’s holding a burger, will receive special benefits, such as discounts, access to parties and pop-up shops, and free food.
Miller said the restaurant will have a digital storefront inside the Metaverse and ghost kitchens in cities across the country.
A ghost kitchen is a restaurant-supported kitchen without a storefront: Miller explained it in this way:
“Let’s say you’re in Streator and you’re hungry for R Grotto or Oasis and then you find out they deliver. You call and order your food and somehow, it gets to your house in 10 minutes. How did that happen? That means the restaurant has a ghost kitchen, a little kitchen somewhere in Streator that you can’t physically order from but they have a chef that knows the recipes and can cook the food.”
Miller said these kinds of kitchens are fairly common in larger cities inside warehouses where cooks have the material and the know-how to make food for restaurants, whether it’s a chain or not.
As for what the restaurant will serve, it’s right in the name. Miller said he took quite some time creating what he calls the perfect burger.
“The burger comes on a Martin’s potato bun and it’s a 2-A grind, a grind I came up with myself made of short rib and chuck served with four Mt. Olive dill pickles and two slices of Borden American cheese on it with caramelized smokey onion marmalade,” Miller said. “It comes with pepper and a smoked paprika aioli and it sounds complex, but it’s just such a simple looking burger that I went through 20 different builds for.”
This project is just another way Miller has innovated throughout his career, and it’s another branch in his busy day-to-day life. He’s currently the chef and owner of Inn of the Seventh Ray, a restaurant in Topanga, California, near Malibu and he was the host of Food Truck Nation on the Food Network prior to that.
He said he owes his work ethic to his upbringing in Ottawa.
“Ottawa set roots for myself that have taken me to who I am no and who I’m going to be until I die,” Miller says. “Ottawa has a lot of not just really good people, but people who good hearts who work hard.”
Not only that, but he said Ottawa helped him develop the same personality and humor emblematic of the region.
“Everyone has a really good sense of humor and my personality developed from there, my dad being a really funny guy,” Miller said. “It’s like, Chicago sounds like a funny town but Ottawa has developed that same thing. It helped me in business and it helped me in TV, and it helped me develop a moral compass to go with a gift of gab.”
More information on L&B Burger Boy can be found on lbburgerboy.com, where NFTs are available for minting for anyone who wants to be part of the venture.