Five Guys plans to open its University City location near campus in mid-December, over a year since its initial announcement.
The new location at 3714 Spruce St., next to the Quad, was first announced in August 2021 with an anticipated opening date of late fall 2021 or early spring 2022. However, the opening was pushed back, Executive Director for Real Estate Ed Datz wrote in an email to The Daily Pennsylvanian.
"It’s our understanding that the new Five Guys location is planning for an opening for mid-December," Datz wrote. "Construction was impacted by supply chain for materials which delayed the restaurant opening until now."
The restaurant is currently hiring shift leaders and crew members at its Spruce Street location, according to its careers website. A spokesperson for Five Guys did not respond to a request for comment.
The new Five Guys location replaces Beijing Restaurant, which closed its Spruce Street location in September 2020. Datz previously said that one of the reasons the Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services advocated for a Five Guys location is because Penn lost its on-campus burger restaurant in 2019 when Bobby's Burger Palace closed its Walnut Street location.
Five Guys is a fast food chain that serves burgers, hot dogs, french fries, and milkshakes. The chain currently has three other locations in Philadelphia at 1527 Chestnut St., 1100 Cecil B. Moore Ave., and 2552 Grant Ave
Wharton junior Xavier Shankle said he grew up appreciating Five Guys for its consistent high quality and late hours, which he said differentiates it from other food offerings around campus.
“It was like a dream come true” when the chain announced its Penn location, Shankle said. “I’m really happy I can have the last two years of my college career with Five Guys whenever I need it.”
Shankle added that it was “naturally frustrating” that the store has taken longer than expected to open, but he is optimistic that the store will open by mid-December.
“One of the jokes that I made was, it's almost like there are five guys building it,” Shankle said. “It’s taken a while.. but I have faith that they can do everything right.”
The opening of the chain's Penn location comes amid a flurry of new eateries in the University City area. In the past year, four other restaurants — DIG, Raising Cane’s, El Taco, and Amma’s South Indian Cuisine — have opened new locations near Penn's campus. In addition, Franklin's Table will welcome two new restaurants in the coming weeks.
Five Guys will join DIG and El Taco as part of FRES's retail portfolio, which operates as the landlord of several stores on and around campus. FRES manages leases and provides establishments with allowances to spend towards their opening.
Datz previously told the DP that FRES is continuing to explore new retail opportunities in University City, saying that the office wants to grow the number of apparel or accessory establishments around campus.