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Five Guys burgers coming to Park Slope

p
pastoralia Apr 21, 2008 06:56 AM

I was walking past the corner of 7th Ave and 6th street (where that ugly Bank of America is going in) and I saw a work permit on the space next door (the old D'Agostino's) that says a Five Guys is going in. Yea!

Maybe this will be the death-knell for Brooklyn Burger Bar and then something really decent can go into that space while we all eat burgers at Five Guys.

  1. e
    elecsheep9 Apr 21, 2008 07:00 AM

    Or is it another nail in the coffin for the charm of Park Slope.

    1 Reply
    1. re: elecsheep9
      BrookBoy Apr 21, 2008 07:12 AM

      Good question. I would agree that almost any other burger joint will be superior to the terrible Brooklyn Burger Bar, but having a Bank of America and a chain burger joint coming to Park Slope (across the street from a Barnes & Noble that houses a Starbuck) doesn't warm the cockles of my heart.

      But, to be honest, I'm sure I'll drop my change at the B of A, and then stop in for a Five Guys burger from time to time...

    2. g
      ginsbera Apr 21, 2008 07:45 AM

      Honestly, not that excited about this place coming in. I have yet to eat there, but only because everyone tells me the burgers are terrible. They just opened one by my office on Bleecker and I wont go in due to a poor review from everyone out there.

      1. Peter Cuce Apr 21, 2008 07:52 AM

        Five Guys is disgusting. Never ate at Brooklyn Burger Bar so can't compare.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Peter Cuce
          s
          sam1 Apr 21, 2008 09:37 AM

          totally disagree...five guys is solid. at best its an overpriced in and out burger though.

          1. re: sam1
            g
            ginsbera Apr 21, 2008 09:39 AM

            i dont its as good as an in and out burger, if it was people would be flocking to them all over the city....including myself.

        2. r
          redgirl Apr 21, 2008 08:31 AM

          oh lovely...so you can eat your burger and fries and then walk across the street to your e.r. cardiologist at methodist!

          1. oolah Apr 21, 2008 10:01 AM

            Don't get too excited. These burgers are nothing to write home about. I've stopped in at the Brooklyn Heights branch and they're just perfectly ordinary fast food burgers. Nothing terrible about them, but just completely unremarkable. Dumont Burger and Bonnie's still take the prize in Brooklyn.

            8 Replies
            1. re: oolah
              j
              jmh Apr 21, 2008 10:31 AM

              Agree that the burgers are nothing special -- good fast food burgers, but still fast food burgers. The fries, on the other hand, are quite good.

              1. re: jmh
                lambretta76 Apr 21, 2008 10:59 AM

                Probably third best I've had after In 'n Out and Fatburger. They're solid fast food burgers, but they wouldn't rate anywhere in the city's top 10 or even 25. But they'd certainly rank above Brooklyn Burger Bar.

                I'm not the biggest fan of their fries, and the double (which is standard) is a grease bomb (allbeit a fairly tasty one) - I like the single cheeseburger with sauteed mushrooms and onions, mustard, lettuce, tomato, and pickles.

                1. re: lambretta76
                  chefjellynow Apr 21, 2008 12:29 PM

                  i actually like the burgers, dont like the burnt bacon tho

                  i get a little cheeseburger with fried onion and bbq sauce...yum
                  used to get bacon on it but consistently burnt to a bad taste

                  i goto the college point shop
                  not the best but somedays it hits the spot

                  1. re: chefjellynow
                    lambretta76 Apr 23, 2008 08:17 PM

                    They deep fry the bacon, which is disgusting. I avoid it, too.

                    1. re: lambretta76
                      g
                      Greg Apr 24, 2008 06:18 AM

                      That's how they cook the bacon at the Corner Bistro. (If you sit at the bar, you can watch them prepare all the burgers which may or may not be a good thing.) Somehow, though, the bacon comes out worse at Five Guy's.

                  2. re: lambretta76
                    Peter Cuce Apr 21, 2008 02:01 PM

                    Top 25? Even if you like it, I doubt it's in the top 300. There are countless restaurants that don't even specialize in burgers that produce great ones. I don't often try burgers at real restaurants, but I've had great ones at places such as Balthazar, Savoy, Rialto (now closed), Relish, Diner, etc. The list goes on.

                2. re: oolah
                  Bob Martinez Apr 21, 2008 02:07 PM

                  Exactly. I don't really understand why we should get all excited about the arrival of a chain restaurant. It's not like we all live in some desolate wasteland where it's impossible to get a decent burger. Bonnie's, Bar Toto, Johnny Mack's. We all could easily list 6 or 7 very good burger joints in the Slope.

                  I'm apprehensive that this could be mark the arrival of a series of chain restaurants in the heart of the Slope. Today 5 Guys, tomorrow a Taco Bell. They'll have no problem affording the higher rents the landlords are charging and the good local places will be squeezed out.

                  1. re: Bob Martinez
                    e
                    elecsheep9 Apr 21, 2008 04:35 PM

                    This is exactly what I was getting at with my earlier post. We've already got a Subway. And when seemingly every empty storefront is being filled by a Bank of America, it won't be long before Park Slope is nothing more than Chains, Real Estate Offices, Bank of Americas and overpriced boutiques that noone ever actually buys things from.

                    Its sad, really.

                3. Miss Needle Apr 21, 2008 02:08 PM

                  I think there may be some inconsistencies with the different branches which may explain the varying opinions on this board.

                  Another thing is what people's expectations are. I think Five Guys has been hyped so much that a lot of people are let down. Five Guys is not going to be a mind-blowing, life-altering experience. It's just a fast food burger, albeit a good one for a fast food restaurant. If you compare it to something like Piper's Kilt, you are certainly going to be disappointed. They're not even in the same vein. Piper's Kilt burgers are thick and juicy. Five Guys are thin smaller patties, comparable to In n Out (if you're familiar with the chain) or Joe's Best Burger in Flushing, Queens. But if you are going to compare it to Mc Donalds, Burger King or Wendy's, Five Guys reigns supreme.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: Miss Needle
                    Bob Martinez Apr 21, 2008 02:10 PM

                    "But if you are going to compare it to Mc Donalds, Burger King or Wendy's, Five Guys reigns supreme."

                    That's like calling Moe the "smart" Stooge.

                    1. re: Bob Martinez
                      Miss Needle Apr 21, 2008 02:16 PM

                      But it's a fairer comparison than comparing it to a burger like Piper's Kilt. The best comparison that I can come up with for Five Guys is an In n Out -- but a lot of people on this board haven't been there.

                      1. re: Miss Needle
                        Bob Martinez Apr 21, 2008 02:25 PM

                        Fair or not, I don't think either of us walks up and down 7th Avenue saying "If only there were more fast food burgers available in this neighborhood." In theory I don't have a problem with fast food. In practice, I don't want it in my neighborhood taking up space that could be used by a better restaurant or a business that meets a true need.

                        1. re: Bob Martinez
                          g
                          ginsbera Apr 21, 2008 02:36 PM

                          it they are shake shack quality ill be there all the time, but they are not. so in essence its just a higher end mcdonalds...which we have too many of already on 4th ave and in the atlantic center.

                          1. re: Bob Martinez
                            BrookBoy Apr 22, 2008 12:14 PM

                            I agree with your sentiment, Bob, but I think the single biggest driving force behind the relentless march of the chains is the huge rents that commercial spaces in the Slope command.

                            When Second Street Cafe suddenly went out of business, there was a notice posted on the door on Second Street. It was a legal notice saying that the landlord had taken possession of the premises because the Cafe had fallen two months behind in the rent (January and February, and I was reading this notice the first week in February). The notice said the amount of arrears was $23,000. That means Second Street Cafe was paying $11,500 a month in rent.

                            The plain fact is that few small businesses, restaurants or otherwise, can afford that kind of expense. The businesses that can are the very ones coming into the neighborhood. They want the exposure and they can afford to take a loss at a particular location if that's the cost of being in Park Slope.

                            Sad but true...

                            1. re: BrookBoy
                              bigmackdaddy Apr 22, 2008 03:01 PM

                              With all due respect Second Street Cafe also renovated their space between two-three times within five years. And these were gut jobs if I remember correctly Renovating is not cheap. Also, and maybe it's my perception, I rarely saw the owners inside the restaurant except for an hour or so during breakfast. Anyone who owns a business with a lot of employees will tell you if you're not their to keep an eye on things some of your employees will be more than happy to liberate all that cash in your register as well as food stock.

                              As far as Five Guys goes. I ate at their Woodstock, Va branch and I thought it was a pretty decent burger. I didn't know it was a chain until I looked it up. And quite frankly I feel they may be better or no worse than the rip off joints occupying 7th Avenue now. Setta, the New Orleans place (I forget the name), Miracle Grill, Fuji San,and so on...they all suck. And places like Bonnie's who supposedly know how to cook a burger ain't all that. I will be the first to say it's a shame to see a chain in the Slope but I also say it's a shame a chain can be just as good as a "independent".

                              1. re: bigmackdaddy
                                BrookBoy Apr 23, 2008 06:00 AM

                                I do remember that major renovation the Second Street Cafe undertook a few months before their closing. They closed down for an extended period and entirely remodeled the place (and, in my opinion, did not improve it, perhaps the opposite). Then a few months later they closed for good. Hard to figure that.

                                However, I still say that $11,500 a month for that space is a huge monthly nut. And that is the primary reason that we have, as you put it, "...rip off joints occupying 7th Avenue now..."

                                I remember a conversation I had with Sam Barbieri (he is a principal owner of the Waterfront Ale House) several years ago about the possibility of opening another WAH in Park Slope. He told me he had been interested in doing that for some time, but the rents on Seventh Avenue were prohibitive and he didn't see how he could keep his business model and make a profit. And that was some time ago.

                          2. re: Miss Needle
                            e
                            elecsheep9 Apr 21, 2008 04:39 PM

                            I say it time in and time out (and it usually gets deleted), but if you want something similar to (but better than) In and Out Burger, head over to All American Drive In on Merrick Road in Massapequa.

                            Its simple, tasty, and cheap. Not a gourmet burger by any stretch, but my favorite "fast food style" burger. And the fresh cut fries are amazing.

                      2. t
                        the_state Apr 21, 2008 03:12 PM

                        I think most of you are ruling out 5 Guys b/c of its sub-Mason-Dixon line chain association. They make a good burger. To call it disgusting or inedible, while singing the praise of In & Out is pure elitist BS. Both are in a similar ballpark; chain operations, neither of which is a haughty blend of 8 kinds of beef served in a pretentious atmosphere. It's simple food, a HAMBURGER for god's sake.

                        Do they make the best burger in town? Absolutely not. But they do make a very above-average, quick, relatively inexpensive, high bang-for-the-buck meal? Yes indeed.

                        I've eaten plenty worse burgers in countless bars in this city; 5 Guys stands up to most tests. Hell, I'd take 5 Guys over the crap they serve at BLT Burger. Whoever mentioned Dumont as BK's finest can shove it. Dumont is completely overrated; I'd rather spend my money at 5G's than wait for 1.25 hours for an $15 improperly cooked tiny burger on a roll the size of my head (although the mac & cheese is worthy of all praise).

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: the_state
                          Peter Cuce Apr 22, 2008 07:45 AM

                          I've never had In & Out. But I do think 5 Guys is awful, it's like eating salty playdough. The fries are terrible too. I'm not clear on what the Mason-Dixon line has to do with anything.

                          1. re: Peter Cuce
                            t
                            the_state Apr 22, 2008 08:03 AM

                            we all know how sophisticated and superior park slopers tend to be. i'm sure that a chain restaurant from virginia (of all places!) isn't exactly part of their vision of the flawless, perfect neighborhood they inhabit.

                            i don't really see how anyone could think 5 Guys' fries are terrible, but to each his own...

                            1. re: the_state
                              g
                              ginsbera Apr 22, 2008 08:47 AM

                              I don't care where the place is from, if its good then I'll eat there. 5 guys just seems pretty lackluster to me...And Park Slope is by no means flawless or perfect....sounds like someone just doesn't like the Slopers.

                              1. re: the_state
                                e
                                elecsheep9 Apr 22, 2008 08:56 AM

                                It is not a "chain restaurant from virginia (of all places)" that most Park Slopers object to, its the creeping infiltration of chain stores into the neighborhood in general.

                                There are less and less places in New York City that have not succumbed to mass corporatization. Quite simply, the characteristics of what once made many neighborhoods unique and great are falling by the wayside in the crush of rampant globalization.

                                There was a time when each neighborhood in New York City was unique because they WERE unique. They each had something different to offer -- be it types of buildings in which to reside, local restaurants and shops that had a flavor different from other neighborhoods, different types of people living in each neighborhood. But nowadays, when you find the same stores and same restaurant and same new high-rises out of scale with the rest of the neighborhood and the same Bank of New York on every corner, is there really any significant difference anymore between the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side and the East Village and the Lower East Side and Tribeca and Brooklyn Heights? All of those neighborhoods feel more or less the same because all of these neighborhoods more or less are the same.

                                For a while, much of "Brownstone Brooklyn" was fighting that trend. But even those neighborhoods are starting to succumb. Soon, all of the city will be the same homogenized, bland, Disney-fied, boring strip mall that the people who were once the heart and soul of the city can no longer afford to live in..

                                Many city-dwellers claim they will never move to the bland, white bread suburbs (from whence most came). Truth be told, when we sacrifice the soul of our neighborhoods and our city for familiarity, convenience and fast food hamburgers, they don't have to.

                                1. re: the_state
                                  j
                                  jmh Apr 22, 2008 11:47 AM

                                  "i don't really see how anyone could think 5 Guys' fries are terrible, but to each his own..."

                                  I second that. These aren't the best fries out there, but to call them "terrible" is either hyperbole or condemns most of the city's french fries by implication. Maybe that's what Chowhound is all about, but we do start to lose perspective at some point. I guess all I'm saying is I don't think the fries are terrible. But to each his own.

                            2. f
                              funniduck Apr 22, 2008 01:42 PM

                              I think I'm done with the burger scene. I love burgers, but too much of a good thing makes me tired of it. I've had 5 guys' burger; it' good, but nothing to rejoice over. Would rather have the D'Agostino's back, given a choice.

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: funniduck
                                Bob Martinez Apr 22, 2008 02:50 PM

                                I was thinking of just that point. I heard mixed things about the D'Agostino's but at least it offered you a convenient location to buy food. Now, instead of being replaced by another and possibly better food store you've got a fast food burger place. You folks in the South Slope deserve better.

                                1. re: Bob Martinez
                                  TBird Apr 22, 2008 05:06 PM

                                  it's not that horrible of a fate. five guys is kinda under the radar as a chain, and they aren't 1/2 bad. there are plenty of worse places in the slope.
                                  but i do understand as far as corps affording the rent...

                                  1. re: Bob Martinez
                                    m
                                    Mike R. Apr 22, 2008 06:54 PM

                                    Knowing that a somewhat great chain will soon open on Court Street and Atlantic (Trader Joe's!), I'd say a huge opportunity was missed not bringing same to this Slope space.

                                    For cryin' out loud, the lines may have even been shorter than at Union Square and do we really need another BofA?

                                    As for FiveGuys, the best item in the house is the one money can't buy - peanuts. You can pretty much sit inside, inhale the greasy aroma and munch on these freebies from Virginny.

                                    1. re: Mike R.
                                      jen kalb Apr 23, 2008 04:54 AM

                                      Im not unhappy (yet) with a "fast food" burger option, though the littering and vermin-attracting potential. has me nervous as a neighbor On balance, a decent fast burger (and I liked the 5 Guys in Alexandria) is more of an asset to the neighborhood than another overpriced pretentious pastaria. We in Park Slope can dream of the perfect restaurant arriving on our corner - and we've been lucky actually having good restaurants opening in our nabe - but we have no control over who has the means and motivation to actually open a place - most of them are just businessmen without chowhoundish dreams.

                                      1. re: Mike R.
                                        p
                                        pastoralia Apr 23, 2008 06:08 AM

                                        I wish Trader Joe's would look at the space on 5th Ave and 7th where the Hollywood Video was (an example of a chain not making it in the big city by the way). If they bought out the Jennifer's Convertibles (who shops there?) next door that would be more than enough room.

                                        I'm looking forward to the Five Guys. I've never eaten there but I have enjoyed In-n-Out and not all chains are created equal. Dick's Burgers and Burgerville in the Pacific Northwest are local chains and they take pride in what they do. As does Kopp's in Milwaukee. This is not the same entity as a McDonalds or Burger King or Subway. These are chains. I certainly don't want an Olive Garden to pop up on 5th Ave (this could never happen, right?) but a local chain having a convenient alternative for a late night craving isn't the devil taking root in Park Slope.

                                        1. re: pastoralia
                                          t
                                          the_state Apr 23, 2008 08:25 AM

                                          that's exactly my point, pastoralia. we're not talking about pizza hut or panera bread or tgi fridays. this is a small run local chain that makes above average food - for cheap, nonetheless. now that schnack is closed, you can't get a decent burger in the carroll gardens area without paying $12.95 at some bistro. i'd take a 5 guys on lower court street any day.

                                          1. re: the_state
                                            p
                                            pastoralia Apr 23, 2008 08:49 AM

                                            Shit...I didn't realize Schnack had closed! Why? When?

                                            1. re: the_state
                                              oolah Apr 23, 2008 02:18 PM

                                              Except that their burgers aren't very good. I agree there isn't much of an alternative in the neighborhood, but I still won't eat at this place after having tried it once.

                                              I don't care that they're a chain, or where they're from, or how cheap they are. They're not nearly as good as Schnack used to be, and there's absolutely nothing special about their food. I wouldn't say it's awful, just blah.

                                              Anyway, when does a local chain cease to be a local chain? It seems like they're expanding way outside their local market and going national -- doesn't that void their "local cred?"

                                      2. re: funniduck
                                        BrookBoy Apr 23, 2008 06:11 AM

                                        Here is a quote from an article that was published in the Washington Post in February: "Today there are one-third fewer supermarkets in New York's five boroughs than there were six years ago," said Lawrence Sarf, the president of F&D Reports, a retail consulting company.

                                        Here is another: "Soaring real estate values are prompting property owners throughout the city to shutter grocery stores and sell to developers, according to city officials, supermarket owners and industry analysts. In the process, another of the essential services that make New York livable is pushed further away, replaced by glittering condos and more banks."

                                        Finally, here is a link to the entire article:

                                        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...

                                        1. re: BrookBoy
                                          c
                                          Client 9 Apr 24, 2008 07:33 AM

                                          Exactly. Supermarkets are being replaced with banks. Banks banks banks. This city can't get enough. I guess we can all just eat our delicious, filthy money. Yum yum.

                                      3. rose c Apr 23, 2008 05:47 AM

                                        I've only gone to the Five Guys in College Point, Queens but it's got great burgers and fries. And I like the looks of it inside with the boxes and buckets of free peanuts. Even though it's become a chain it doesn't have that vibe. It's casual inside but mostly it's about the burgers. You guys are so lucky. I'd love one closer or right in Jackson Heights.

                                        1. d
                                          dw438 Apr 23, 2008 09:44 AM

                                          If you just want a burger in the Slope, head to the Purity or the 24-hour donut shop right down the street. 5 Guys is just another themed burger joint that doesn't come close to In-N-Out. And they're slower than In-N-Out, to boot. And at either end of the Slope there's a McDonald's and [just a little further out northeast or south] a couple of White Castles. Yes, I know about the hipster burgers at Bonnie's and DuMont.
                                          And on geographic Long Island - Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk counties - there are many better burgers, including Joe's in Flushing and the great All-American in Massapequa.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: dw438
                                            TBird Apr 23, 2008 10:45 AM

                                            i'd take a 5 guys burger over purity diner every day of the week. weak recomendation...

                                          2. j
                                            jerri blank Apr 23, 2008 10:40 AM

                                            this place is replacing two existing chains...d'agastino and gothic cabinet. i do not see the reason for the uproar about chains in this instance. it was a large space, and was inevitable that another chain would come in. there are blocks upon blocks of tiny storefronts along 7th and 5th avenues that are not attractive to chain stores, which is the reason the neighborhood still retains much of its mom and pop character.

                                            this particular space was not such a space. it's been chain stores forever.

                                            yes, another grocery store would be much appreciated in this neighborhood, but d'ag sucked and was overpriced and gothic cabinet makes poor quality furniture.

                                            i'd say that out of the pick of the 3 chains, 5 guys burger sounds like the best of the lot.

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