Westchester got its first taste of Five Guys Burger and Fries on Thursday when customers lined up to devour the chain's famous customizable hamburger at the Pelham Manor opening.
The 798 Pelham Parkway location was armed with 25 employees ready to make an unforgettable burger experience.
Don Bleau, Five Guys' Chief Financial Officer, was thrilled with the turnout that took more than a year to plan.
“We have the entire county to develop,” Bleau said. “We think that it provides us the best opportunity for success based on the demographics and the associated retail space.”
Bleau mentioned that the shop's close proximity to BJ’s will likely serve Five Guys well.
“Lots of people of all diversity are all here. We love it," Bleau said. "Plus the name is cool."
Randy Warren, director of operations of Five Guys, agreed. “It’s fancy,” he said.
From the moment the joint opened its doors at 10:55 a.m. on Thursday, the restaurant was packed. There was a line outside the door for the three hours prior to the opening, said Bleau.
“We actually let some of the customers in before we actually opened the doors because it was cold out today. We wanted to make sure they were comfortable,” Warren said.
At 6 p.m. the restaurant was still teeming with hungry customers.
“Look around, it’s incredible,” Bleau said as the night wore on. There was a constant line-up of at least 10 people waiting to eat their burgers and almost every table was occupied.
Although you can make your burger any way you like it, whether it’s with grilled mushrooms, cheese, raw onions, mustard or ketchup, the number one request has consistently been the cheeseburger. Warren’s personal favorite, and the second most popular, was the bacon cheeseburger.
Jazmine and Tristan Espina, from the Bronx, made the short trek north to enjoy cheeseburgers and fries.
“It was really really good. It really was and I’m pregnant and craving cheeseburgers and this actually satisfied my craving very much,” said Jazmine. “The people here are very friendly and that makes it even a better experience.”
Tristan Espina was awed by the burger's size.
“I should have ordered the little one. This burger was big. It’s two burgers stacked in one but it’s really really good,” said Tristan.
Chris Kelly from Mount Vernon had his first Five Guys cheeseburger that night with all the toppings, sans mustard. “It’s good. I have no complaints,” he said.
They were undeterred by the long lines.
“It moves pretty fast,” Kelly said.
Warren and Bleau hope that business will carry on this way for “at least 20 years,” said Bleau. “It’s a nice community. The people are wonderful, very friendly who appreciate what we’re doing. It’s been a treat.”