We live on the Northside of Lakeland. When it’s time for a burger and a brew, Smokey Bones is our grill of choice. However, when we learned that The Chop Shop moved into the former location of The Gym, we decided to head to Downtown Lakeland to do a little beef inspection.
We were always a little disappointed with The Gym. This place is big on the inside, and the empty basketball court floor plan seemed a little bare boned. Naturally, we had high hopes for a meatier lay out. However, our focus became a little less carnivorous when we walked past this little distraction just outside;
Previously, The Chop Shop only served beer. In addition to having a larger building, they also have a larger drink menu.
More drinks call for more bar space, which they know have.
The bar and surrounding seating has a 1950′s junk yard theme.
While junk yard walls are never visually appealing, it beats the sweaty basketball court feel that was previously here. Furthermore, this place is always playing Johnny Cash songs, which does wonders for the atmosphere. This 50′s rock junk yard ambiance will always be far superior to the more modern junk yard decor in other chains (Cracker Barrel, Applebees’s, etc.) Speaking of better than Applebee’s, let’s not forget the reason we came here, BURGERS!
Pictured above are the black bean (veggie) burger and the Roadhouse burger. Check out your other choices on the menu below;
Each burger is 8oz, which means that the quad stacker Hawgzilla is 32oz, which makes it the biggest burger in Lakeland! The beef has good and greasy flavor, but not overly greasy like Five Guys. If you order a rare burger, it comes out RARE (also unlike an Applebee’s or a Five Guys).
Oh yeah, in case you were also wondering how The Chop Shop would utilize all of that previously wasted floor space, take a look;
Still no dance floor, but then again, this place closes at 10pm week days and 11pm on weekends.
So there you have it! A non-chain burger joint that’s worth a look. It’s a bummer that a full liquor bar with decent music closes so early, but at least you are in walking distance of Molly’s Irish Pub, Linksters, Fresco’s, and the Hookah Palace!