A red- and white-checkered burger joint hailing from Washington D.C. will soon try to carve a niche in the crowded campus burger scene.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries will open a new location at 311 South State St. — the space previously occupied by Shaman Drum Bookshop — on Nov. 15.
Owners Brian Adelman and Michael Abrams are in charge of nine Five Guys locations in Michigan, including a restaurant in East Lansing that opened earlier this month.
Adelman said he and Abrams, who have been friends since childhood, decided to go into the restaurant business together after seeing how “wildly popular” Five Guys is.
Five Guys is most famous for its hamburgers, which customers can customize with a variety of vegetables — including lettuce, tomato, mushrooms and peppers — and condiments for no additional cost. French fries are also served as a side.
As for vegetarian options, Five Guys offers a veggie sandwich and grilled cheese sandwich.
Adelman said the restaurant only uses fresh ingredients. The hamburgers are made to order, the vegetables are brought in each day and the hamburger buns are made five days a week.
He added that customers return because of the good service and reasonable prices. A hamburger costs $4.79 and a cheeseburger costs $5.29, according to the Five Guys website.
Five Guys was founded in Arlington, Va. by University alum Jerry Murell, who opened the first location in 1986 with the help of his four sons. Though Five Guys mostly sells burgers and fries, Murell believed quality was more important than offering a bunch of different options, Adelman said.
Five Guys will bring about 50 jobs to Ann Arbor. The managers of the State Street location will hold interviews for part- and full-time jobs a week before the restaurant’s opening.
Adelman said Ann Arbor is a good city in which to open a new location because of the diversity and density of people — especially on State Street where there is a lot of foot traffic.
“I don’t think we’re competing with other businesses,” Adelman said. “We just give a choice of something different than what’s already there.”
Varujan Arman, owner of Quickie Burger on State St., said Five Guys won’t be a threat to his business.
“I don’t think it will affect our business because we’re completely different,” Arman said. “Their menu is very limited, and ours has 75 options. We have a great selection.”
He added that the only thing Five Guys has that Quickie Burger doesn’t is a corporate name.
LSA junior Katharine Zurek said she thinks there is something for everyone at Five Guys.
“As a vegan, I’m excited to see if they have good fries,” Zurek said.
LSA sophomore Cassidy Daniels said she is disappointed that Five Guys doesn’t sell milkshakes, but is still excited to see something new move into the space formally occupied by Shaman Drum.
Adelman said he expects students to make up a major portion of their customer base, but he also predicts that families will eat at the restaurant because they can order a lot of food for cheap.
Adelman predicted that in the next decade, Five Guys would become a household name and will be recognizable worldwide.
“In 10 years we could have 40 stores in Michigan, and the company will have many restaurants internationally,” he said.