SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — The state’s third Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchise has been permitted to open in the Maine Mall area in South Portland, news that comes less than three months after franchise owners announced plans to open a Bangor location.

The first Five Guys franchise opened on Fore Street in Portland in April 2011.

A representative of the South Portland codes enforcement office confirmed Wednesday that the city has issued a building permit to the Illinois-based Lingle Design Group for a $300,000 renovation and construction project to locate a Five Guys franchise at 220 Maine Mall Road.

The new restaurant will be on the site of the former Carpet Town store, approximately across the street from Aspen Dental and International House of Pancakes, in the same complex as the Designer Shoe Warehouse.

The new South Portland restaurant is permitted to seat 92 customers, slightly more than the 80-seat capacity planned for the Bangor location.

Patricia Doucette, city codes enforcement officer and deputy director of planning and development, told the BDN that construction has not yet begun at the Maine Mall Road site.

Gene Prentice and Jamal Bourote own the territorial rights to Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurants in Maine, and co-own more than 30 of the restaurants in the northeast.

Prentice did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He told the Bangor Daily News in October he has “been to very few burger places that I haven’t liked,” but that the quality at Five Guys restaurants rises above the crowd.

“We are 100 percent fresh,” he said in October. “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.”

Five Guys Burgers and Fries 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.

Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.