five-guys-handout

Evanston aldermen tonight are scheduled to vote on a special use permit for a new burger joint downtown.

The Five Guys Burgers and Fries chain is seeking to open a store at 816 Church St. The city’s Site Plan and Appearance Review Committee and the Zoning Board of Appeals have recommended approval of the proposal.

Evanston aldermen tonight are scheduled to vote on a special use permit for a new burger joint downtown.

The Five Guys Burgers and Fries chain is seeking to open a store at 816 Church St. The city’s Site Plan and Appearance Review Committee and the Zoning Board of Appeals have recommended approval of the proposal.

The Five Guys chain opened its first store in Arlington, Va., in 1986. It’s been rapidly expanding in recent years, with over 250 stores in 19 states and a claimed 1,500 additional units in development.

The chain has nearly a dozen other locations within 25 miles of Evanston.

816-818 Church St.

The building at 816-818 Church St., owned by the Behles & Behles architectural firm that has its offices on the second floor, had its facade renovated recently in a project that was partly funded by a grant from the city’s facade improvement program.

Update 10:10 a.m. 7/27/10: The aldermen Monday night voted unanimously in favor of the restaurant’s request. The approval becomes final after another vote by the City Council in two weeks.

The other storefront in the building has signs announcing that it’s to become an outlet of the California-based Title Nine women’s clothing chain. Title Nine now has 15 stores, the closest in Madison, Wis.

Top: An image of the interior of a Five Guys restaurant, from the company website.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation

9 Comments

  1. Why would anyone eat here?

    While I can’t disagree with council voting to approve a viable business anywhere, I have a sneaking hope for Five Guys to fail.  

    Evanston has been slowly developing a reputation as a destination for terrific burgers by small, independent businesses.  We currently have no less than three places where you can get a burger made by someone with an advanced culinary degree:  Edzo’s, BopNGrill, and Wiener and Still Champion.  All three places offer thoughtful renditions of standard fast-food, and all three are well worth supporting. (Little Island is another excellent local independent offering a fresh and handmade burger, but I’m not sure if any culinary degrees are involved.) 

    While I suppose chains have their place in the business scene, I urge everyone in Evanston to make sure we support our own.  

    1. More choices, that’s why

      Edzo’s hours aren’t very convenient for a lot of people.  And anyway, having more choices doesn’t hurt anybody – enquiring minds like variety and a choice of different restaurants . If Five Guys drives anyone out, I hope it is Burger King.

      It would be nice to have a Culver’s in Evanston. 

    2. More local joints

      Don’t forget Wild Dogz on Chicago Ave. and Mustard’s Last Stand on Central.

  2. Why Not McDonalds ?

    Many of us miss McDonalds esp. for breakfast.  Yes their clerks could not make change without custormer help [even Japanese stewardess] and they were so slow that when you were in line for 10 minutes they would close the breakfast menu [clearly better than B-K] before you got served.  But they did get better shortly before they closed downtown.

    The seniors [esp. over 70] never moved to B-K [maybe somewhere else] but it seems a lot of A.M. business was lost.  

    I’ve been told that even before the hotel [and city?] gave them the boot, that they were not profitable.  I can understand part of that given the number of people I see at B-K who will use a charge/debit for even a soda.  When told what it costs the merchant [which they pass on in higher prices] they don’t seem to know or care ["I don’t care the merchant not me pays it"].  It is understandable [though no excuse] with high school and college student since they only care about themselves [and hope they will be gone before prices increase] and "daddy pays their cards anyway, but when 40 year old business men do so, well that is compounded ignorance.

    Perhaps Congress as part of the consumer legislation should have the customer not merchant pay for change/debit [at least under $10 ?].  That way customers will may better choices, merchant won’t have to [have excuse] to raise prices and the banks [which everyone rails against] won’t get all that extra income from charge/debit cards.

    1. Tax Loss from loss of McDonalds on Church

      It would be interesting to know if the Hotel or city ever made up on lost revenue and taxes from kicking McDonalds out and replacing it with upscale sushi resturants ?  I think that is what they serve, I’ve never met anyone who ate there—i.e. one of the two or three resturants that have been there—or seen anyone in there when I’ve passed by [admittedly during the day].

      McDonalds brought [ordinary] family business and the over 70 breakfast crowd.  I doubt the upscale sushi resturant does much for those and many other groups—-i.e. they are for the upscale liberal north shore crowd.

      1. Nobody said McDonald’s

        McDonald’s for breakfast?  You call an Egg McMuffin breakfast?

        What downtown Evanston needs is a place where you can get a nice breakfast – pancakes from around the world, eggs, grits, a bottomless carafe of coffee, and four flavors of syrup – in a clean environment at a reasonable price.   It should be open all night, and have crayons  and paper placemats that kids can color.

        This would appeal to the over 70 crowd in the morning,  the late-night college crowd,  and the Sunday after-church crowd.

        1. Except for the “open all night” part…
          Dixie Kitchen is a great breakfast option. Inexpensive & delicious.

  3. Wild Dogz, DD Dogs and other local burger joints

    As a former Northwestern student and a local resident I would hate to see these chains take out the smaller burger joints that use fresh, never frozen ground beef(isn’t that the 5 Guys selling point). We already have Al’s & BK, no need for another one.

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *