BANGOR, Maine — The national franchise that makes what GQ Magazine calls “the best $5 burger a man can eat” will soon be serving them to customers in Bangor.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries is expanding northward after opening its first franchise in Maine in Portland’s old port in April 2011.

“We’ve been seriously looking at Maine since 2010 and at Bangor in particular for about a year,” said Gene Prentice, vice president of operations for the ownership group operating Five Guys franchises in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine. “We were told about the strong trade areas around Bangor, so we looked at Downtown Bangor and Orono.
We thought the Mall area pulled from a very large area with good visibility, so we like the location.”

The location is officially 878 Stillwater Ave., which is next door to an AT&T wireless store and TD Bank branch alongside the entrance to the Bangor Super Walmart.

When finished, the new 2,700 square-foot burger joint will seat about 80 customers, including an outdoor patio seating area, and be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

Prentice said he plans to be open for business in late winter or early spring, depending on the building construction schedule.

Five Guys’ building permit application, which was filed in August, has been approved by Bangor’s code enforcement office and only awaits payment on the application fee.

Prentice said Five Guys is known for its taste, fresh ingredients and quick service.

“To tell you the truth, I love burgers and have been to very few burger places that I haven’t liked, but we are 100 percent fresh,” he said. “Our beef patties are hand-formed, the bacon cooked daily and only used for one day, and all our other toppings are fresh as well. We don’t even have freezers, just coolers.”

“We want our guests to leave happy.”

With what the business’s website says are 250,000 different ways to order a burger at Five Guys, it may be difficult to choose.

Prentice said Five Guys uses only fresh beef, cooks only with peanut oil, and is trans-fat free.

The franchise was founded when Jerry and Janie Murrell opened the first location in Arlington, Va., in 1986. Since then, more than 1,100 franchises have been created in 47 states and six Canadian provinces, and another 400 are in development.

“We own franchises in Boston, Suffolk and Middlesex counties in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine, and our ownership group has two franchises in Key West,” said Prentice, whose operating partner and co-owner is Jamal Bourote.