You might want to sit down for this: Five Guys is set to open in Biddeford within the next few weeks.
The restaurant chain, which specializes in hamburgers and cheeseburgers, french fries and milkshakes, will open the second week of August in the plaza at 580 Alfred St. along Route 111, franchisee Gene Prentice said Tuesday.
The small plaza, located across from the Shops at Biddeford Crossing, saw its first tenants move in last summer. Already there are Firehouse Subs sandwich shop, Dunkin’ Donuts coffee shop, Sports Clips salon, Mattress Firm store and GameStop, among others.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries, a popular fast-casual restaurant franchise, has several other locations throughout Maine. Currently, there are stores in Portland, South Portland, Brunswick, Augusta and Bangor.
Prentice’s group owns all Five Guys establishments in Maine and Rhode Island, and some in Massachusetts.
Lingle Design Group, a Lena, Illinois-based design firm, submitted an application to the city for the construction of the 2,630-square-foot eatery on Feb. 14, according to city planning documents.
Prentice, who resides in Portland, confirmed reports of a possible Biddeford location in March. At the time, he anticipated opening in June, but design work on the space pushed the date back a couple months.
“We were very particular about the design of the space and the design took quite some time,” he said by phone on Tuesday. “We wanted to make sure, being that it was a new plaza, that everything was properly set up for the surroundings. … We just wanted to make sure we did everything right.”
Lingle Design Group, which also has offices in Denver, Colorado, specializes in designs for the fast-casual restaurant industry. Clients of the firm also include McDonald’s, Mexican-style eatery Qdoba and Buffalo Wild Wings, according to documents on the group’s website.
Construction crews could be seen working on the building’s interior on Tuesday, and company employees sat outside the store, available for people to apply on-site for restaurant positions.
Prentice said the the plaza’s location makes it ideal for an eatery of Five Guys’ type, and he’s happy to be opening something not only new to Biddeford, but in a location with scenery.
“We like the fact there’s a pond right out in front and you have to drive in and see the scenery,” Prentice said. “These days people really like ‘new’ … and this is what we’re bringing them.”
Daniel Stevenson, Biddeford’s economic development director, lauded the project on Tuesday.
“I am excited that Five Guys is investing in Biddeford. I thoroughly enjoy their business,” he said, adding he’s a fan of their burgers.
Since March, Prentice said he’s received some positive feedback from others about the project.
“We are very excited about this project mainly because we all love when something new comes to the area,” he said.
The new Five Guys restaurant is one of three new eateries planned along Alfred Street.
Construction continues on an 1,800-square-foot Starbucks at the Five Points intersection, and on a $506,332 combination Taco Bell and Jiffy Lube location at 460 Alfred St., next to Amato’s Sandwich Shop.
Two former automotive repair shops at the site were razed in October to make way for the latter, overseen by Chicago- and New York-based development company Guggenheim Partners LLC.