New spots for a burger and dessert in Merced | The Merced Sun-Star

A few new retail spots that offer food and drink have committed to opening up in Merced, including a burger place with a cult-like following called Five Guys.

A developer recently submitted an application to put the burgers-and-fries eatery in a 2,100-square-foot space near G Street and Yosemite Avenue, Merced’s Director of Development Services David Gonzalves confirmed.

He said the shopping center is a busy one, and said the developer asked for the application to be expedited. The developer hopes to be able to open the store this year, he said.

Kim Espinosa, city planning manager, said the eatery will go into the empty building at 3572 G St., what was once a used textbook store. She said the developer is also looking at adding outdoor seating for Five Guys.

The Virginia-based chain with a simple menu is nearly 30 years old, and has more than 1,000 locations around the country. Forbes magazine named the company the fastest growing chain in the country in 2012.

With nearly 1 million “likes” on Facebook, Five Guys has its following. It sometimes draws a comparison to In-N-Out Burger, which has about three times as many “likes” on Facebook.

The food was also the focus of a YouTube video that went viral, which featured a man’s commentary on hamburgers as he ate a Five Guys meal in his car.

Two different shops that serve Asian-style teas and desserts have also opened recently in town. One is called Em-Tea, which is located next door to the building that will house Five Guys. The other, Sno-Crave Tea House Merced, is on West Olive Avenue near Loughborough Drive.

It remains unclear how many people will be employed at those locations.

The city also is working on moving forward with a 77-acre retail center at the northeast and northwest corners of Campus Parkway and Coffee Street. Merced City Council will discuss that during its meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 678 W. 18th St.

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