VALPARAISO | Another warrior is about to join the city's burger battle.
Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchise owners Chris Wolf and Donald Doan plan to open their fifth restaurant and the first in Porter County at 2505 LaPorte Ave.
Formerly occupied by Oberweis Ice Cream Company, Wolf said he and Doan hope to be selling burgers and dogs there in September.
"It's a market we've been trying to get into since we got into Five Guys over five years ago," Wolf said. "We've always liked the area and we spent some time there, but it was tough to find a good location."
According to the Five Guys Burgers and Fries Web site, the restaurant started in Washington, D.C., in 1986 and now has over 1,100 restaurants in 47 states and six Canadian provinces. Wolf and Doan opened their first one in Mishawaka in 2008 and have others in South Bend, Munster and Schererville.
In addition to burgers and hot dogs with enough possible toppings to create 250,000 different ways to order them, the restaurant's menu includes Cajun and Five Guys style fries, a grilled cheese and two veggie sandwiches. Prices range from $3 for a single patty to $7 for a double.
"All the hamburgers are handmade, and everything is fresh," Wolf said. "We don't have a freezer. The burger is made when you order it."
Plans for the 2,800-square-foot restaurant were presented to the city's Site Review Committee on Tuesday, and Wolf said he hopes to start construction soon. The restaurant will seat 50 to 60 and employ about 30 people.
"We're excited," he said. "We think Five Guys is a great concept that will sit well in Valparaiso. We've had requests for years from people wondering when we were coming to town. The fact it's a college town is fun. We have a lot of younger employees, who enjoy that interaction and the energy is brings."