Five Guys restaurant, a
well-known burger chain on the East Coast, will make a new home in the Midwest on
State Street in mid-February.

Founded by five brothers, Five
Guys serves a simple menu of traditional hamburgers, cheeseburgers and fries.
Customers can choose from 15 free ingredients to put on burgers, from saut?ed
mushrooms to A-1 Steak Sauce.

The restaurant?s location will
be 519 State St., next to Za?s Italian Cafe.

?Our burgers are all hand-pattied
and cooked on a flat iron grill so all the juices can be held in, and everyone
can have a well-done, juicy burger,? said Chris Obligato, the general manager
of the State Street restaurant.

The grill is located in the
front of the restaurant and customers can watch the cooking process, said Dave
Becker, chief operating officer for the State Street franchise.Five Guys? new
Madison location is particularly exciting for East Coast natives in Madison who
know about the restaurant from home.

?We know a lot of East Coast
kids come to Madison,? Obligato said. ?We are hoping to give them a little
taste of home.?

Dan Swerdlak, a Za?s employee,
said he is happy about Five Guys coming to State Street.

?We want to be friendly with
our neighbors because they bring in more business,? Swerdlak said.

The State Street location is
ideal for Five Guys, Becker said.

?We?re hoping we?ll have a lot
of foot traffic,? he added.

The first Five Guys in
Wisconsin opened in Delafield in November. The owners believe the McDonald?s
and Burger King across the street of that restaurant took a hit from Five Guys,
which according to Obligato, makes burgers that ?actually taste like burgers.?

Five Guys on State Street will
be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. for the first few months, but as the weather
warms up and more employees are trained, the restaurant will stay open until 3
a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday to cater to late-night State Street crowd,
Obligato said.

?We hit a lull from 10 p.m. to
about 1 a.m.,? said Justin Callaway, assistant general manager at Qdoba Mexican
Grill, one of the few open restaurants after bar time. ?But after 1 a.m. until
we lock the doors at 3, it?s crazy with people wandering in from the bars.?

Callaway said Five Guys should
consider staying open late because late-night business is so beneficial, even
if it is a ?pain in the butt? dealing with drunk customers.

Although Five Guys might prove
to be competition to Qdoba and other State Street restaurants, it will fulfill
the city?s hamburger needs.

?Competition isn?t necessarily
a bad thing,? Callaway said. ?I?m sick of eating burritos all the time too. I?m
glad Five Guys is coming out.?