UPDATED 12:30 p.m.:
Five Guys has signed a lease for the space formerly occupied by Oreck and a portion of Bertucci's unused space and plans to open its doors in Bishops Corner next July.
Director of Marketing Molly Catalano confirmed Friday morning that Five Guys Enterprises has been looking for space in West Hartford since 2011, and signed the Bishops Corner lease this summer.
Burger joints have proliferated in West Hartford over the past few years, but Catalano thinks competition is a good thing.
"We have found that other burger places help us and we help them. We were slightly nervous [when we expanded into] California because of In and Out Burger," Catalano said, but Five Guys has thrived in that market.
Mooyah opened just up the street in Bishops Corner in March.
Because the shopping center, which also includes Whole Foods and Walgreens, is part of a Special Development District the build-out plans must be approved by the West Hartford Town Council. However, Catalano anticipates construction to begin in April with a July opening.
The West Hartford restaurant will not be a franchise, but will be one of the corporate-owned stores. The Avon and Farmington locations are also now corporate-owned, Catalano said.
"Five Guys are about 20 percent corporate-owned, and the rest are franchised. Connecticut is a great market and we are really excited," Catalano said.
The well known burger chain Five Guys may soon add its brand to the swelling ranks of upscale burger joints that call West Hartford home.
"Burgers are a big deal in West Hartford," said Town Manager Ron Van Winkle who confirmed that Five Guys has had an interest in West Hartford for some time. He had previously spoken with the Avon franchise owner about buying a building in town, but there was nothing available.
Town Clerk Essie Labrot confirmed Thursday afternoon that an application has been filed by Five Guys to renovate the space in Bishops Corner formerly occupied by Oreck and a portion of space currently leased by Bertucci's. The application is listed as "New Business" on the agenda for the Tuesday, Oct. 9 Town Council meeting.
Because the Bishops Corner shopping center, which currently includes Whole Foods (324-348 North Main St. and 2495 Albany Ave.), is a Special Development District, changes need to be approved by the Town Council. A public hearing will be held at a future date and the application will also be reviewed by the Town Planning and Zoning Commission.
According to the application, Five Guys proposes a 2,551 square foot restaurant with seasonal outdoor seating for 12 persons in front of the restaurant.
According to the Five Guys website, the company, which opened its first restaurant in Arlington, VA in 1986, is a franchise operation which currently has more than 1,000 locations in 47 states and six Canadian provinces.
Five Guys currently has 16 locations in Connecticut, and according to its website will be opening one in Shelton soon. Nearby restaurants include Farmington and Avon.
Bishops Corner got its first upscale burger restaurant when Mooyah opened in in the spring. Another fast casual restaurant, Noodles & Company, opened in Bishops Corner earlier this week.