New Five Guys hamburger restaurant coming to former Stewart's site in Potsdam
By CRAIG FREILICH
POTSDAM – A Five Guys burger restaurant plans to open in the former Stewart’s store at 75 Market St. and be open by September.
Jim Thew of Thew Associates in Canton presented the plan to the Potsdam Village Planning Board Thursday night.He gave an informal, unofficial site plan presentation to the members and laid out some details.
They will be using the current store space, leaving the exterior largely as it is but completely gutting the interior and reconfiguring it to suit the franchise standard.
Board members expressed relief that the current curb cuts will be removed due to problems people have had joining traffic there, at the busy intersection at the Sandstone Drive intersection.
The plan is to remove the two curb cuts onto Market Street, channeling traffic to parking lot entrances on Elderkin Street.
State Department of Transportation approval is required for new curb cuts onto state routes such Market Street, State Rt. 56, but no approval is needed to remove them.
Board members briefly discussed the problem of Market Street traffic stopped at the signal light blocking Elderkin Street in spite of a sign there advising motorists not to do so. The possibility of a second traffic light at Elderkin synchronized with the Sandstone Drive light was mentioned.
Thew said he hopes to have final drawings ready for approval by the end of May and approved by July 1 so work can begin to get the restaurant open by Sept. 1 so they can draw customers from among the returning students.
The parking lot plan and the sign application, among other requirements, will be taken into consideration.
Hada Potsdam, LLC, whose parent company is headquartered in Slinglerlands, has bought the building, and also owns a Five Guys store in Plattsburgh and several more in the Albany area. There is another, not owned by Hada, in Watertown.
Five Guys, "Handcrafted Burgers and Fries since 1986," offers six kinds of hamburgers and cheeseburgers, three kinds of hot dogs and a few meat-free sandwiches, and French fries, “Five Guys style” and Cajun style, milk shakes and sodas.