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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Five Guys Finds a Home in Fairfield

Five Guys Finds a Home in Fairfield:
Fifth location for the 
four managing partners
By Mike Lauterborn

Fairfield, CT – Best Bang for Your Buck. Heaven on a Bun. These are some of the raves that have already been bestowed on a popular burger chain with over 975 locations nationwide. Now Fairfielders can enjoy the same juicy, fresh goodness and value since Five Guys opened in town December 16.

The new fast food eatery, at 340 Grasmere Avenue in the Whole Foods Market shopping complex, is the fifth location owned by a team that includes Robert and Mariann Marona, of Newtown, their son Nick, of Bethel, and daughter Dana Smith, of Milford. The foursome opened their first restaurant in Brookfield, in 2006, followed by Newtown, Westport and Norwalk.

Since opening in Fairfield, Smith said, “We’ve been getting a great response from customers, and are seeing many familiar faces every week. People say the burgers are among the best they’ve ever had and the fries are favorites.”

No surprise given the eatery’s keen attention to quality. “The beef is 100% fresh, never frozen, trans fat free, and with no preservatives,” she said. “The potatoes are fresh cut, cooked in 100% peanut oil with no cholesterol or preservatives.”

The potatoes, in fact, are delivered fresh twice a week from farms in Idaho. “This week our inventory comes from Wattenbarger Farms in Shelly, Idaho,” Smith said. “We go through 3,700 pounds of potatoes a week.”

As to options, customers have many. In the burger category, they can opt for a hamburger, cheeseburger, bacon burger or bacon cheeseburger. The regular burger has two 3.5-ounce patties while the “little” version has one patty. Fifteen different toppings are available, allowing an incredible 250,000 different combinations.

Hot dogs, grilled cheese and veggie sandwiches are burger alternatives. Free refills are offered on soda and customers can enjoy complimentary roasted peanuts while waiting on an order.

Service is another forte here, made even faster through the ability to order online. “Web orders have become very popular,” Smith explained. “Customers can go to our website, pick the location, and order what they like – customized to the full extent – for pick-up. You can pay right online. It’s a big time-saver.”

As to the staff, they are pleasant and hard working, which makes the cheery red-and-white checkerboard environment all the more enjoyable.

Just ask fans Liz and Jim Schumacher of Fairfield. “We’ve visited the Five Guys in Mystic,” said Liz, “where my sister lives. We’re so excited about the Fairfield location, as we won’t have to make the long drive for a good burger. We love the bacon cheeseburgers, and that they give small farms a chance.”

Fairfielder Genevieve Swenson, catching lunch with her daughters Lillian, 3, and Emmeline, seven months, is already a veteran customer at the Fairfield hub. “This is my second time here,” she said. “I used to go to the Westport store. I’m happy that this is around the corner. You know it’s going to be good. I don’t think there’s any other place where you get a great burger and great fries. The free peanuts are also a treat and I like that there’s a grilled cheese choice. The fries are especially great – they remind me of boardwalk fries at Rehoboth Beach.”

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