If you’ve been patiently salivating for the opening of the Five Guys Burgers and Fries in Westwood, you’re about to be rewarded.
A member of the construction team working at the site has revealed that work at the location at the corner of Portage Avenue and Rouge Road is almost complete.
"Probably early April," Leroy Yolkowski of Fiorentino Building and Renovations said last week as several workers clambered up and down ladders and scaffold behind him.
The building company also oversaw construction of the two Winnipeg Five Guys locations which opened last year, he said.
The signature red and white tiles are on the walls, the flooring is done, and "the cooking stuff’s all in," Yolkowski said.
The fast-expanding burger chain, which has grown to more than 1,000 North American locations since its birth in 1986, entered the Winnipeg market last June with a restaurant on Regent Avenue, followed by one on Pembina Highway in August.
Paige Tomko, a manager at the Pembina Five Guys, predicted hungry patrons will flock to the new Portage location when it opens.
"When we first opened it was busy, like, there were lineups out the door," Tomko said.
She said it took about a month for the initial rush to start dying down.
The manager of Burrito Splendido, just two doors over, thinks the hype over the new burger joint will increase customer traffic at his restaurant.
"Of coursed it will," Jarod King said, "not many people have heard of Burrito Splendido...but, people have heard of Five Guys —Barack Obama’s favourite burger and all that. I think it will only help us."
King said he will probably try out a burger when the time comes, but doesn’t expect to become a convert.
"I’d rather have a burrito than a burger any day of the week."
Last June, a real estate agent handling leasing arrangements for a group of Utah-based investors who own the franchise rights for Five Guys in Winnipeg told the Winnipeg Free Press the group hopes to open a total of seven locations in Winnipeg.