Is a Mom of a Peanut Allergic Child Keeping Five Guys Out of Montclair?

800px-Peanut_closeup.jpgMontclair is the Burger Capital of NJ so we’ve been waiting (and waiting and waiting) for Five Guys to open. It seems as if the storefront on Valley Road in Upper Montclair has been empty (and desolate) forever. In fact, Baristanet told of its coming a year ago. So what’s the problem? Why hasn’t Five Guys opened its doors yet?
The rumor around town has been that it’s because of the peanuts. You see, Five Guys not only cooks their french fries in peanut oil, they serve peanuts in bulk containers. The website does give peanut allergen information and apparently even has signs on the bulk peanut container asking patrons to keep shells in the store and not bring them outside. In a day and age where children with peanut allergies have more than tripled in just over a decade, Five Guys is like a ticking time bomb.


The rumor was started when a local teen told the owner of Jafajems (that cute store on Valley and next door to the anticipated Five Guys) that he read on his friend’s Facebook page that she was suing Five Guys and preventing them from opening because her daughter has a severe peanut allergy. It was a story of a crazed mom protecting her peanut allergic child. The truth is–there is no truth to it.
I spoke to owner Carol Jafferjee who was happy to put an end to the rumor. She said she has no idea how the rumor got started, and while she does, in fact, have a child with an allergy, she would never try to prevent another business owner from earning a living. Carol says she doesn’t really even know the owner, whose name is Tom, and hasn’t seen him in months. She too wants to know why they haven’t opened yet and said, “As a tenant on the same block and in the same building who pays $10,000 a month in rent, I cannot believe they are paying rent for the space and not moving ahead with the opening.”
So if it isn’t an overprotective mom standing in the way of Five Guys opening in Montclair, what is it? A call to corporate didn’t give me any answers. They said, “As of now, they have no projected opening date.” When I asked if I could contact the franchise owner, corporate explained and repeated, “We don’t give out franchise owner information. But again, we have no information from him and there is no projected date as of yet.” It looks like Five Guys fans will have to wait a bit longer for their burger fix. Too bad there aren’t a bunch of other burger joints in town….

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Maybe 5 Guys are smart enough to realize there is only so much room for burger shops. The way they are popping up all over and the recent additions of Smash and Elevation in Montclair that it just might not make sense.

  2. If this is true, I guess baseball stadiums are next.
    Then the circus…
    Zoos…
    Where does it end?

  3. There is only one burger joint chain worth going to in northern NJ – White Manna in Hackensack and its sister store, White Mana in Jersey City. Stunningly good, and cheap!

  4. spaceck,
    I grew up in Jersey City Heights and ate many a White Mana burger growing up. Delicious!

  5. Ugh, seriously? The JC White Mana is not v good at all. The Hackensack White Manna, however is quite good. And I don’t believe they are owned by the same people.

  6. Plans for Montclair’s new zoo / circus / Yankees stadium complex have been put on hold for the same reason.

  7. If 5 Guys doesn’t open, maybe a Japanese restaurant could open in that spot.
    Wouldn’t want anything different there, right?

  8. IMHO 5 Guys is the best of the burger chains in Montclair. Hope it opens soon. (Don’t care about the peanuts, but the fries are worth the trip.)

  9. It ends when we are living a complete Nanny Police state with no rights at all. When nothing is open, no diners, no stadiums no sports no movies, nothing at all and all speech is banned so to not offend or harm anyone and and you must eat and live as the government tells you or go to jail for your own good. When even thinking the government is bad will get you sent to a prison for thought crime.

  10. READ the article it clearly states that it was only a rumor. The lady in question does have a peanut allergic child but is taking no action to attempt to block the franchise nor does she wish to stop anyone from opening such a business and is as curious as the rest of the community as to why they have not yet opened.
    The rumor was apparently started by some know it all who mouthed off on Facebook. Someone ranting with out checking their facts.

  11. You have obviously not had 5 guys before. Smashburger is great, but elevation burger is horrible. Maybe then can close up and relocate 5 guys to their location.

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