Black Keys to get their own Umami burger -- and it’s cheesy

Patrick Carney of the Black Keys at KROQ's annual Weenie Roast at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine in May 2013.
(Los Angeles Times)

When one thinks of the Black Keys, the first things that come to mind may not be mustard, pickles and Velveeta fondue.

That may change on July 1, though, as the Ohio rock duo will be celebrated on one restaurant’s menu.

Umami Burger, which has over 20 California locations, is set to debut the “Akron Burger” as part of its continued Artist Series.

“The Black Keys are on top of the music world now,” said Trevor Sacco, vice president of operations for Umami Restaurant Group, in a press release. “We’re honored to add a bit of their ‘flavor’ to the Umami Burger roster.”


The burger, named after the band’s hometown, will include Umami’s signature beef patty, yellow mustard, Velveeta fondue, “secret sauce,” chopped onions and dill pickles.

The taste of the Black Keys comes at a cost of $13.

Other than the surplus of toppings, extra incentives are added to the upcoming burger. For every burger purchased, $1 will be donated to the Black Keys Alfred McMoore Memorial Endowment Fund.

McMoore, a visual artist who struggled with schizophrenia, had a significant influence on the band’s name. Auerbach and Carney have said McMoore was an eccentric figure in the neighborhood of Akron where the two band members grew up. McMoore sometimes left rambling messages on their answering machines, referring to people he was angry with as “black keys.”

According to the Akron Community Foundation, the fund was created in June 2010 with proceeds from a memorial show that the Black Keys held in McMoore’s honor. The endowment helps generate income for Community Support Services, a local nonprofit organization that helps provide personal care for clients with severe mental illnesses.

“It’s so refreshing to see these guys on top of the world but still hold such a big place in their heart for their hometown -- and Alfred,” said Tina Boyes, vice president of marketing and communication for the Akron Community Foundation. “It shows the humility and generosity of these guys: Akron through and through.”

Umami’s Artist Series features prominent figures with coaligned causes. The series currently features Chef Jose Andres. In his case, $1 from every “Jose Andres Burger” sold is donated to the World Central Kitchen.

The Black Keys released their eighth studio album, “Turn Blue”, on May 12 and are booked for an extensive tour until late December. They play the Forum on Nov. 6.

Twitter: @jimeasterhouse