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Chains eye South Sound: Five Guys Burgers and Fries to open in Puyallup, and an update on Buffalo Wild Wings in Tacoma and Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Bonney Lake

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on Sep. 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm | 9 Comments »
October 13, 2011 10:09 am
Five Guys Burgers and Fries will open off River Road in Puyallup in November.

The national fast-food burger chain Five Guys Burgers and Fries is planning its first Pierce County restaurant to open in November in Puyallup. A store also is planned for Lakewood Towne Center, but the lease is not final. The chain is one of three making first entries into Pierce County this fall. Buffalo Wild Wings and Dickey’s Barbecue Pit will open restaurants in Pierce County in October. Click “more” to read updates on all three chains.

I should note that I rarely write about national chain restaurants because of the News Tribune’s pledge to readers that I write about the food landscape born in our own back yard. That being said, I think the entry of national food chains is worth this question: Is there a void those restaurants will fill that our locally based restaurants cannot? I’d like to get at that answer. Many, many readers have contacted me asking for updates on the chains mentioned here. Clearly, there is some demand at play.

That’s a question I’ll be chewing. Weigh in with your thoughts to sue.kidd@thenewstribune.com

Five Guys Puyallup
Where: 1002 N. Meridian, Puyallup (Note: the Five Guys website lists S. Meridian, but maps say that building is at N. Meridian).
Opening: First week of November, approximately

Five Guys Lakewood
Where: 5605 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd., Lakewood
Opening: Later this year

Five Guys Burgers and Fries is a fast-food burger restaurant that has popped up all over Washington state, mostly concentrated from Seattle to Renton to Issaquah, with scattered locations north to Bellingham. The chain started in Virginia in 1986 by Jerry and Janie Murrell and their five sons. The hallmarks of the chain from the start have been hand-formed burgers, and fries cooked in peanut oil. The restaurant began franchising in 2003.

Puyallup will be the first Pierce County location for a Five Guys. It will open in the old Hollywood Video space in the Fred Meyer parking lot just off River Road and North Meridian. A Lakewood Towne Center store will follow.

I asked Five Guys franchisee Cameron Gentry, who plans to open more stores with business partner Dustin Ward in Pierce, Lewis and Cowlitz counties, what do the Five Guys burgers taste like?

Here’s what he told me: Five Guys burgers are made from fresh, not frozen, ground beef served on a toasted sesame seed bun that is a bit sweeter than buns at competing chains, he said. Expect to pay somewhere around $6 for a bacon cheeseburger. He said the restaurant is known for its free burger toppings – 15 different add-ins that can customize a burger: Mayo, relish, onions, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, ketchup, mustard, jalapeno peppers, green peppers, A.1. Steak Sauce, barbecue sauce, hot sauce.  All fries are hand cut and an order will cost around $2.50.

The Puyallup restaurant will be an 80-seat fast-food style restaurant. Other than the Lakewood location, the duo also are scouting for Five Guys locations in Tacoma and Gig Harbor. Gentry and Ward also are franchisees for Little Caesar restaurants in Southwestern Washington.

Buffalo Wild Wings will open near the Tacoma Mall this November.

Buffalo Wild Wings
Where: 4219 S. Steele St., Tacoma
Info: Opening around Oct. 24
Website: www.buffalowildwings.com

I first told you about Buffalo Wild Wings back in May in this blog post. It took several months, but the chain finally started working on the old T.G.I. Friday’s over by the Tacoma Mall.

The Buffalo Wild Wings building, from the outside, looks sort of Frankensteined together with mismatched paint and scaffolding wrapped around the exterior, but construction crews have consistently been working for several weeks on the interior and exterior of the fenced-off building. The restaurant should open on or around Oct. 24.
UPDATE: Regional manager Jay Dowed sent me an email saying the new opening date should be Oct. 31.

Buffalo Wild Wings will be located a mile away from another wings restaurant, Original Winger’s, which opened in Tacoma in 2008 on Tacoma Mall Boulevard. Hooters is just a short distance from there. With the expected entry of Wing Stop into the market, I wonder if they’ll locate around Tacoma Mall, too? If they do, I’m going to call that neighborhood the Chicken Wing Vortex of Tacoma. A Wing Stop company spokesperson told me this week she has no lease details to share, but I’m crossing my fingers for that neighborhood so I can campaign for “Chicken Wing Vortex of Tacoma” to be an official Google search engine term.

The Buffalo Wild Wings menu is wings, burgers and ribs – which looks pretty much like the menu of Winger’s.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
Where: 21109 State Route 410, Bonney Lake (Safeway Plaza)
Opening: Mid to late October

Franchisee Jacqui Ziebell said she will open the first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Washington state with husband Jacques and daughter Brittney this October. The Texas-based chain is a fast casual style barbecue restaurant. Ziebell is the owner of Jacqui’s Cakes in Bonney Lake.

“We don’t have a firm opening but it’s getting closer. We’re hoping for mid October,” she said via email. I’ve been keeping an eye on Dickey’s and it appears construction is active at the space that will be located in the Safeway Plaza in Bonney Lake.

Find more about Dickey’s here. I took a look at the menu and saw a proclamation that the chain restaurant slow cooks its meat over hickory. The menu looks to be a typical meat trifecta of pork-beef-poultry. I saw pork ribs, pulled pork, smoked chicken and turkey and beef brisket.

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