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Five Guys Closes on Detroit Avenue

The burger joint posts a message on its doors saying goodbye.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries, the national burger chain that opened its doors in Lakewood a few years back, has closed its doors on Detroit Avenue. 

The news came by surprise — as the restaurant quietly closed up — even though the Lakewood location was clearly not as bustling as some of its other locations. 

One Lakewood resident said he tried to take his family there for dinner on Saturday night. 

Instead, he found the windows had been covered with garbage bags and a sign posted on the door informing patrons that the business had shuttered.

According to the typed message, the store closed Saturday.

“We are grateful to everyone who has supported us and we look forward to serving you at our Five Guys Westgate location” in Fairview Park, according to the letter.

It's not clear whether the company will keep its regional corporate offices in the adjacent space.

Paul Grimm February 03, 2013 at 06:50 PM
I heard they were turning it into a theater.
Eric Swinderman February 03, 2013 at 07:08 PM
That really sucks. I was just there Thursday night and obviously the employees had no idea because they were talking about how they had to work during the Super Bowl. Sucks to see them lose their jobs, hopefully they were offered jobs at the other locations.
pam ghaster February 03, 2013 at 10:55 PM
I am surprised. Was it the location? I hate to see people lose their jobs. -pam ghaster
ian king February 04, 2013 at 06:49 AM
Well, not really a surprise. They didn't offer anything different than what already exists on Detroit: fast food, burgers, fries, - basically the same old unhealthy food stuff that Lakewood has an over-abundance of. How about City Hall and the Lakewood Business Assoc. advocating for a healthy food choice in downtown Lakewood. PEI WEI, owned by PF Chang group would be perfect! Healthy fast food, clean and attractive decor, and something we lack in Lakewood downtown- healthy Asian. Or ask Stone Oven to open here - great bakery, coffee, and sandwiches. Again, really nice up to date decor and friendly atmosphere. I don't think too many of us will miss another burger joint - lets try to get something really different in downtown Lakewood with healthy, diverse food options.
Chris Olsen February 04, 2013 at 12:08 PM
i agree with you ian....even the new italian concept that is located on cedar road, cannot recall the name of it , but it is very much like a chipotle, just italian in menu.....i always questioned the five guys location, its not like that area is hustling with thousands of people....it just did not fit into thier model plan as far as location is concerned. lets hope it is not shuttered for too long.
Tom February 04, 2013 at 12:27 PM
The restaurant on Cedar in South Euclid is Piada.
Mark Rogers February 04, 2013 at 01:33 PM
Rediculous , and typical, they make a big stink about wanting to move into this building, have the building renovated, and cause long standing stores like Cerny Shoes, to make their stores smaller to accomodate this, and they pack up and leave. It's like everything else in Lakewood is headed, Vacant, Abandoned, etc...Welcome to West Cleveland
Eric Majkut February 04, 2013 at 02:05 PM
Really classy decision to wait until the last second to tell their employees and customers about closing. Decision making like that is a great way to turn me away from any of their other locations.
Paul Grimm February 04, 2013 at 02:15 PM
Skyline Chili would be perfect at this location.
ian king February 04, 2013 at 02:42 PM
HI Eric, Totally agree. In fact, when we learned this, we as a family decided to just forget the 5 Guys experience. There is a fantastic gourmet hamburger at B spot for only $ 5.00 every M - Fri happy hour made with amazing tasting beef and a great hamburger can be had at Brown Bag Burgers at Great Northern Mall in North Olmsted. Both are much much better than 5 Guys in taste and value. Who needs to support employers who treat their employees this way in 2013?
Diane G February 04, 2013 at 08:18 PM
Skyline Chili is a great idea. It's got my vote. It's different and that's what we need.
ian king February 04, 2013 at 09:57 PM
Yes, lets get City Hall and Downtown Lakewood Business Guys to recruit a different, decent food choice for this location. Skyline Chili is great, Stonehouse Over wonderful and of course, my favorite Pei Wei. How can Columbus have THREE Pei Wei restaurants and Cleveland area can't even get one to open here? What is wrong with this picture? Is local government not doing the right PR to businesses?
Chris February 05, 2013 at 01:28 AM
Couple of thoughts... As a business owner I have to stand by the "in the dark" closing. Unfortunately when a business announces that they are closing the employees tend to make it a free for all in the final days. I have seen it as an employee and as an owner. Second- can I personally beg Zappatelli's to consider this location?
master February 05, 2013 at 02:29 AM
i agree .when the cat is out of the bag--it is out.in addition how does anyone know there was no warning?
ian king February 05, 2013 at 03:17 AM
Hi Chris - I disagree. I have worked in both nonprofit and for profit businesses. I have never seen an employee free for all when a business closed its door. But then again, maybe I had responsible and respectful owners and managers. In my opinion, if an employee "free for all" (just what is that btw?) occurs, I would think it would be the result of the management or the owners not knowing how to close/terminate their business professionally, and with respect for both their employees and their customers. Maybe the owner would have to devote the remaining couple of weeks working in the business to prevent this so called "free for all". Your position that the final days of a business are like a frat house gone wild, just seems not realistic in my experience. Bottom line, an in the dark closing is not very professional, and is insulting to both loyal customers and dedicated employees.
Chris February 05, 2013 at 02:12 PM
Ian- I can only assume that your experiance is outside of the food service industry. It is an extremely common industry practice. I have been in the industry for almost 30 years so sadly I have witnessed more than my share of closings, some as an employee and some as a bystander. I can only think of a small handful that offered notice and those all seemed to be fine dining establishments. Once the decision has been made to close it really becomes about hemmoraging the loss. The sad fact is that employees are more likely to steal, no show for scheduled shifts, and simply preform poorly when they know a restaurant is closing. Let me make it clear that I am not saying that the Five Guys employees would do this. I regularly took my family there (who could resist the burger and yogurt combo). I have nothing but postive things to say about that staff. But if they are going to stay in the industry they are just going to have to get used to the shut down method.
Amanda Gunnels February 05, 2013 at 03:09 PM
B Spot is good, but I keep my burger eatin' business in Lakewood. I love 56 West. Sorry to see 5 Guys fail and people lose their jobs-- but keep the small spots alive in our city... please.
ian king February 05, 2013 at 03:24 PM
Hi Amanda - I agree that we all need to keep Lakewood businesses alive. However, these businesses need to offer high quality, healthy food. Sooooo many restaurants in Lakewood offer either junk fast food, or low quality food. Unless you want to pay a lot of money for decent meat, you can't beat the happy hour, high quality hamburger at B Spot. So I agree 56 West is good, but how about all the other hamburger offerings in Lakewood? I am afraid a lot are not up to the healthy/higher quality beef we should be getting today. Until that happens, my body is more important to me than giving money to second rate restaurants in Lakewood.
Amanda February 05, 2013 at 07:32 PM
I agree with needing more healty options...Mainly ones where kids and families are eating. I only ate at Five Guys once and in my opinion it just tasted like an over priced Wendy's hamburger. I do feel for the employees and hope they where offered positions at other locations.
SHAWN WITMER February 05, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Healthy eating option w/ Asian flavor @ Marc's plaza ==> China Garden ==> fast, fresh and fairly priced. You can consume as healthy as you wish, or go deep fried if you prefer. I'm just sayin.... with no financial ties to China Garden.
ian king February 05, 2013 at 11:13 PM
HI Shawn, sorry, but the food at China Garden is greasy, and, not at all healthy from what I have experienced. Their choices are full of salt, sugar for their sauces; and the chicken I had was very low grade quality, tough almost. Rice was not fresh. The only decent and edible Asian restaurant in Lakewood I have experienced is Szechuan Garden - healthy options with a very good vegetarian menu also. In Cleveland Wonton Gourmet and Map of Thailand are both good. But NE Ohio area lacks healthy, fresh, Asian choices. And in my book, there aren't any in Lakewood at all.
Amanda February 07, 2013 at 07:03 PM
Ian... Have you ever tried Thai Kitchen on Madison? It is a very small space and pretty much a one woman operation but I though thay had awesome food. I am not sure how healthy seeing as I am not that familar with Thai food but it did seem like that had some good options. Carry out may be a good choice considering they only have about five tables. : )
ian king February 07, 2013 at 07:36 PM
HI Amanda - yes, it is good; but the last time I went they did not take credit cards which can be a problem with a group. And I would call Thai Kitchen not a great dine-in experience, more of a takeout place. I also like Banana Blossom in Ohio City. Thanks!
Amanda February 08, 2013 at 12:30 AM
Hey Ian thanks for the suggestion... I am always looking for new places to try and have just recently started trying different ethnic foods. I am always kind of leary when I have no idea what the ingredents are but I am willing to try anything aleast once.
marc February 12, 2013 at 06:43 PM
cleveland is 20 years behind most other metropolitan areas. Trust me. I lived in San Diego, LA, Cbus, here, and have traveled to many other large areas several times. 20 years!!!
ian king February 13, 2013 at 05:47 AM
Hi Marc, I have also lived in many different cities. I wonder why Cleveland in so many ways resist moving into the 21st century. The area has a great hospital - Cleveland Clinic, a great art museum, a great symphony, and an amazing library system. And a few good restaurants. Why do you think the area doesn't support any kind of downtown shopping experience of note, or any really cool coffee houses that aren't a chain, or more healthy eating choices, or more alternative music scenes, etc. What is it Marc that makes Cleveland 20 years behind the times?

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