Five Guys Burgers, IHOP coming to area

VIENNA – Two popular national restaurant chains are coming to the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries and IHOP are placing stores in the area.

Five Guys, which has been running advertisements for managers and assistant managers, told officials they plan to open a store at 702 Grand Central Ave. in Vienna next to Wal-Mart.

IHOP has made plans to place a store in the area, but has not disclosed a location.

Classified advertisements for the IHOP, seeking employees and management positions in the area have been running in The News and Sentinel since last week. Officials in Wood and Washington counties, including Parkersburg, Marietta, Belpre and Vienna, have no records of a proposed IHOP store in the area. The ads are tied to Sharp Holding Inc., an independent operator of IHOP franchises in Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia.

In 2003, Robert Sharp, president of Sharp Holding, agreed to develop eight new IHOP restaurants over the next nine years in West Virginia. IHOP has locations in Charleston and Clarksburg. Sharp has been involved with the IHOP brand since 1970 working for six years in various operational capacities for IHOP Corp. He has been an IHOP franchise since 1994 and was the company’s franchise of the year in 1997.

Messages left for Sharp seeking comment were not returned.

There are Five Guys locations in Beckley, Huntington, Charleston (2), Morgantown and Ranson. According to its corporate website, Five Guys has been a Washington, D.C., area favorite since 1986.

In 2003 Five Guys started offering franchise opportunities. And in less than 18 months sold options for more than 300 units.

Today, there are more than 1,000 locations nationwide and more than 1,500 units in development. The store’s burgers and fries are often ranked among the best among national chains.

Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp said he was unaware of the Five Guys development, but happy with the news.

“That’s great news,” he said. “I ate at one in Huntington. They are great. It’s good food.”