Two beloved American burger chains are now available to our English-speaking friends across the pond. Five Guys and Shake Shack opened yesterday and today, respectively, both in London's Covent Garden. That makes this an excellent weekend for Brits to remember that not only are we an independent nation, but a nation that knows how to grill a beef patty.
Five Guys, which started in Washington, D.C., in 1986 and currently boasts over 1,000 locations nationwide, zeroed in on the London market because the burger chain had a significant number of Facebook and Twitter fans in that city. Which leads us to wonder: who wants to follow a fast-food joint on Twitter, let alone one they possibly haven't been to? But anyway.
Five Guys, which had no European locations until now, isn't alone in making the transatlantic journey, with Shake Shack also joining the greasy fray. Danny Meyer opened the first Shake Shack in Madison Square Park in 2004, where New Yorkers still experience treacherously long lines. Today, there are branches in Dubai and Istanbul, not to mention Brooklyn. Shake Shack's culinary director Mark Rosati told CNN, "We've had our eye on London for a long time."
As for design, Shake Shack London looks as if J.K. Rowling might have envisioned it (thus, it is admittedly cooler than any of our branches). It will also serve some local items like the Cumberland Sausage, which uses a "rare breed of pork."
In the spirit of our "special relationship" with the United Kingdom, we hope the burger joints thrive and our British friends get all the grease and calories they could ever hope for. That's what freedom is all about. Right?
Five Guys has both American and British flags out front, which is a nice gesture.
So Londoners, enjoy our burgers and the long lines to get them. Or you know, the queues.