The West Caldwell Planning Board approved an application for a Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchise in the Essex Mall Monday night.
The 2,240-square-foot restaurant will occupy the former space of Book World at 905 Bloomfield Ave. in the strip mall.
Franchise operator Edward Sheridan told the Planning Board he expects to open a total of four or five restaurants in Essex County, where he has exclusive rights to the franchise.
Construction is expected to begin on the 48-seat eatery in about a month, according to Planning Board Clerk Joseph Dunn.
According to Dunn, Sheridan told the Planning Board approximately 75% of customers eat-in, but all meals are purchased at the counter.
Dunn said it’s important to note for those who have peanut allergies that the restaurant cooks with peanut oil.
According to their website, the first Five Guys opened in 1986 in Alexandria, Va. Five Guys began franchising in 2002 and now has more than 900 locations around the country.
Five Guys restaurants do not have freezers because they say their food is never frozen. The simple menu includes burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and two kinds of fries, and there is no additional charge for toppings.
West Caldwell Mayor Joseph Tempesta said Tuesday that Five Guys is just one of several new eateries coming to the township. Tempesta said a Muscle Maker Grill franchise is set to open soon in the West Caldwell Plaza near T.J. Maxx, and another restaurant is expected to take over the space formerly occupied by Vitella's.
“I am seeing a lot more business activity coming, which I hope is a sign of the economy turning,” Tempesta said.