MILLVILLE — Bun times are ahead for mall shoppers and lovers of the hamburger-and-fries experience.
Five Guys has hung out its sign at Union Lake Crossing Shopping Center. The chain is expected to start interior construction soon with a first quarter 2024 opening in mind, according to Bill Parness, spokesman for center owner Irgang Group.
Five Guys has gone from a small, family-owned operation in the Washington, D.C. area in the late 1980s to a chain with more than 1,600 franchises across North America and overseas.
Success has come with an emphasis on burger shop basics. Five Guys says it kept its original menu intact until 2014, when it added milkshakes.
The fast-food restaurant is setting up inside 2180 North 2nd Street, facing Delsea Drive and joining a cluster of competitors like Buffalo Wild Wings and Moe’s Southwest Grill.
Five Guys has created a dedicated fan base with made-fresh burgers that include bacon at no extra charge and a practice of giving customers an extra helping of fries dumped into a bag.
Parness said Five Guys is taking over a 2,146-square-foot space occupied until late January by Quest Diagnostics. The burger chain has 49 other sites in New Jersey, with the closest in Deptford Township.
Another recent addition to Union Lake Crossing is Cato Fashions, a family owned chain of women’s apparel stores with sites in 30 states.
Cato Fashions already is open, leasing a 5,124-square-foot space previously occupied by Lane Bryant. The chain has a second New Jersey site in Pennsville Township.
Joe Smith is a N.E. Philly native transplanted to South Jersey 36 years ago, keeping an eye now on government in South Jersey. He is a former editor and current senior staff writer for The Daily Journal in Vineland, Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, and the Burlington County Times.
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This article originally appeared on Cherry Hill Courier-Post: Five Guys restaurant opening at Union Lake Crossing in Millville