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Posted on Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 5:55 a.m.

Five Guys Burgers chain to move into former Shaman Drum space

By Janet Miller

Five Guys Burgers and Fries, a rapidly growing national hamburger chain that originated in metropolitan Washington D.C., will move into coveted storefront space on South State Street once occupied by Shaman Drum independent book store.

A number of national restaurant chains, including SmashBurger and Del Taco, competed for the space, said Jim Chaconas, listing agent, of Colliers International. A lease with Five Guys was signed Thursday.

The South State Street retail area, where town and gown meet, has rare vacancies, especially less than 2,000 square feet, Chaconas said. Five Guys will have a long-term lease on the 1,890 square-feet space, he said, although he would offer no more specific details. Shaman Drum had occupied two side-by-side spaces.


Five Guys Burgers and Fries plans to open a location on South State Street by the fall.

Photo by Flickr user MrMatt

Construction on the Five Guys build out should begin within 45 days, once the city approves architectural and building plans, Chaconas said. The goal is to open by fall, he said. No one from Five Guys could be reached for comment.

The space vacated almost a year ago when Karl Pohrt decided to close his independent bookstore. Negotiations with Five Guys began within a month of the Shaman Drum closing, Chaconas said.

Five Guys was represented by Matthew Berke with the Beale Group.

Pitaya, a small chain of trendy, affordable clothing boutiques for teens and young women, occupies the other half of the former Shaman Drum space. The boutique moved in to 1,840 square feet in October.

Five Guys opened in Arlington, Va. in 1986 and has expanded to 550 locations in 35 states. The privately held chain, which has eight locations in Michigan, says its menu offers 250,000 ways to order a burger.

Five Guys joins Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, which opened in May on Briarwood Circle near Briarwood Mall, as a new burger restaurant in Ann Arbor.

Janet Miller is a freelance reporter for


Rob MI

Thu, Sep 2, 2010 : 12:10 p.m.

I was *just just just* wondering about this and see that Janet Miller posted an update as the thought crossed my mind...

Janet Miller

Wed, Sep 1, 2010 : 12:16 p.m.

Five Guys Spokesperson Molly Catalano said the Ann Arbor franchise is scheduled to open in early October, and that an exact date won't be announced until a few days before. It will join seven other Five Guys in Michigan and 662 nationwide. Five Guys is also opening restaurants in West Bloomfield and Livonia and all Michigan stores are owned by BAC Holdings, LLC.


Wed, Sep 1, 2010 : 12:04 p.m.

When is 5 guys actually opening? I thought is was to open before Labor day 2010


Mon, Aug 23, 2010 : 11:57 p.m.

good place so i've been told.there is at least one in Toledo.

thomas siterlet

Tue, Jun 8, 2010 : 5:14 p.m.

Wow. 5 Guys AND Big Boy (aka @Burger) just around the corner from each other! You can almost hear the arteries hardening.


Tue, Jun 8, 2010 : 1:53 p.m.

Ok this is the best news EVER!! I am only slightly joking

Verdi Ergun

Tue, Jun 8, 2010 : 11:28 a.m.

@burger is coming to liberty soon, too

Patrick Haggood

Tue, Jun 8, 2010 : 4:53 a.m.

Per the comments about all the burger joints opening up - there's a sign for '@Burger' next to the Noodle house on Liberty; in the last 12 months two chain burger places ('Famous' and 'Great-something Burgers' have opened up on Plymouth. With the additional Red Robins at Briarwood, it does appear there's some feeling by the national chains that Arbor-ites don't have enough access to hamburgers.


Mon, Jun 7, 2010 : 9:29 p.m.

Well said Mr Teague!


Mon, Jun 7, 2010 : 3:14 p.m.

aacom's never ending crying from posters who want a "local" business to go here, what a shock. Boo Hoo ther4e's only 47 more book shops in this town. I'm just happy the Del Taco didn't make it in. Then I'd have to hear about how they make "real" tacos.

rusty shackelford

Mon, Jun 7, 2010 : 9:57 a.m.

It's no secret that Shaman Drum was terribly run. I'm all for local business over national, but the constant cry of Pohrt and his acolytes about being run out of town by the big bad national businesses is a joke. That can happen, but SD repeatedly did everything they could to run themselves out of business. It was a great cultural resource that was sadly terrible as a business.

Tom Teague

Mon, Jun 7, 2010 : 9:14 a.m.

While the Shaman Drum was a great bookstore that helped make the State Street area a vibrant and eclectic place, it's not as if Five Guys forcibly crated the books and muscled into the space. Shaman Drum closed in June 2009 and the building has been vacant since. I wish Five Guys luck in the location and am thankful that the restaurant is exhibiting faith in Ann Arbor's commercial future. It started as one restaurant in Arlington, VA, slowly adding locations until it began offering franchises about six years after it opened. Let's hope that Ann Arbor can produce a similarly successful locally owned business -- bookstore, restaurant, clothier, whatever -- in the next few years and that other communities welcome it openly when it decides to expand.

sandy schopbach

Mon, Jun 7, 2010 : 7:06 a.m.

I graduated from U-M and remember that two-block section of State Street as a book-store heavy area, which was logical given the location across from the campus. There were three book stores that supplied text books to students, and hired temps during rush (of which I was one, thankful for the pocket money). All three are now gone. That was before and other on-line booksellers, and before Borders even. Lifestyle has changed, as has merchandising. Books have been replaced by clothes and burgers. The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on.

Homeland Conspiracy

Sun, Jun 6, 2010 : 5:21 p.m.

Shaman Drum was a restaurant (The Continental Restaurant) before it became SD. So what goes around comes around. It's the cycle of life.


Sun, Jun 6, 2010 : 5:16 p.m.

Holy Cow! I can see it now. 1) Peanut allergy advocates will be protesting this place. 2) Gender equality advocates will have a problem with 5 guys in the name of the business. 3) PETA will have a fit. See you soon Five Guys! Was waiting for this. What a great addition, but too bad the residents of the ivory tower will find another excuse to complain about 'national chains' invading the sanctity of ann arbor. The point of business is not to fulfill your philosophical dreams of what a utopian society should look like but to meet people's needs and desires.


Sun, Jun 6, 2010 : 1:53 p.m.

@ dan romanchik and everyone else...on relooking at the ad i cited with such approval ( for encouraging less web and more real store buying) it is indeed the fake ad of the month ( the tip-off being the 'arborweb' coded into the text. but no apologies, other than a bit of chagrin because my irony- meter is as good as fact the ad had a really good message and wasnt particularly funny, even on re reading....


Sun, Jun 6, 2010 : 1:21 p.m.

Five Guys is not just another chain. I'm a regular (when I'm in town) at a Five Guys' in DC. A2 is going to love this place.


Sun, Jun 6, 2010 : 9:59 a.m.

@mitch you sound like the type who will enjoy this 5 Burgers place immensely for the 4 or so years you attend university...and then promptly leave town when you graduate.

Phil Dokas

Sun, Jun 6, 2010 : 9:26 a.m.

Oh phew, I was wondering where I could get some restaurant chain food on the street. Thank god in between Starbuck's and Five Guys and Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings and Potbelly's there's still room for Comet Coffee and Silvio's and Cafe Ambrosia and Ashley's, if not Schoolkids or Discount Records or Harmony House. Here's hoping that the old Ritz Camera space gets used for something local!


Sun, Jun 6, 2010 : 8:56 a.m.

@ David Paris "A Big Disappointment. The SD site is one of Ann Arbors finest buildings, and we're gonna waste it on a franchise burger joint." And how much do YOU have invested in this site? When you start paying the taxes on it you will have something to say about what goes there and can say "we are gonna waste it" Until then I suggest you say they instead of we!


Sun, Jun 6, 2010 : 8:19 a.m.

Ann Arbor is turning into a giant food court.

David Paris

Sun, Jun 6, 2010 : 12:07 a.m.

A Big Disappointment. The SD site is one of Ann Arbors finest buildings, and we're gonna waste it on a franchise burger joint. Fail! I'll buy my burgers at Quickie Burger at State and Hill.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 11:53 p.m.

All the people whining about chains must have short memories. I still remember my days as an undergrad when there were McDonalds and Burger King on one side of campus and Taco Bell, Uno's and Subway on the other side. Other chains (like Rax and Dennys) have also had their brief time in the campus area. Chains have always been with us and always will be. The only difference now is that moderately priced chains have been replaced by over-priced "upscale" chains.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 10:26 p.m.

Holy Cow! I can see it now. 1) Peanut allergy advocates will be protesting this place. 2) Gender equality advocates will have a problem with 5 guys in the name of the business. 3) PETA will have a fit. See you soon Five Guys!


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 9:31 p.m.

@ Ryan J Stanton... a "healthy vegan burger"?? What a laugh. I love vegetarian food (in fact, my favorite A2 restaurant is Seva!), but make no mistake: A BURGER IS MADE WITH BEEF. Go eat something else.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 8:13 p.m.

From Wolverine3660: "If all the people who are making condescending remarks about the burger place actually came and bought books at the Drum, instead of browsing at the shop, and then going home to order the books from Amazon, the Drum would still be in business. Thanks to these hypocritical Ann Arborites, the Drum went out of business." The practice of using Shaman Drum as a research room for planning online Amazon purchases did hurt the store. However, the real source of failure of the Drum's business model rested elsewhere, according to the owner: "The crisis... is due to our loss of textbook sales.... the university introduced a program which allows professors to list their textbooks online, which effectively drives a significant number of students to the internet. It is impossible for local textbook stores to compete under these circumstances." In the bookstore's final year, this new, net-friendly university policy led to an enormous drop in the textbook sales upon which the operation financially relied. It lived, and then died, by way of the student book rush. The Drum owner goes on to quote a basic premise of economist Joseph Schumpeter: Creative Destruction is the essential fact about capitalism. Had there been time to create a viable new Shaman Drum business model, one consistent with campus area retail trends, maybe today they'd survive by selling us books & burgers — food for both mind & body, with many low-fat veggie options and a commitment to free range philosophers. As it stands now, with Five Guys Burgers set to move in, a new clientele may soon line up inside the area once occupied by the Drum's religious studies section, where we'll again hear requests to "make me one with everything."


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 7:48 p.m.

As a vegetarian and non shopper of SD neither business matter to me. The trouble I see is too many of the burger only places keep popping up. Burger fare is growing like burritos did. If you are into burgers, why not try the restuarant that occupies the former Zanzibar. It is far cheaper and really gives to the local economy. If you want a local burrito place, I prefer BTB over Chipotle, Qdoba, or Moe's. I have no problem with them moving in, but I do not see the concept as long term sustainable. It will have a 3-5 year run, and then be over. McDonald's could not live on burgers and fries alone.

Tom Joad

Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 7:45 p.m.

Yuck, a greasy burger joint replaces a unique bookstore. Ann Arbor has slowly evolved into a sterile food court for the University


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 7:37 p.m.

Q: Do you offer any food which is suitable for vegetarians? A: Yes, to a certain extent. Our veggie sandwich and grilled cheese sandwiches are suitable for lacto-vegetarians. One thing to take note of is that our veggie sandwich is NOT a veggie burger. Our veggie sandwich consists of as many "veggie" toppings as you desire and served on our basic bun. You can add cheese if you please. Our bread is toasted, but usually on a separate grill from meat products. However, there is always a chance for cross contamination, so please check at the individual location where you are ordering to be certain. Finally, our fries are just plain potatoes cooked in 100% peanut oil and are suitable for even vegan diets.

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 6:50 p.m.

"From a national recognized independent bookstore to a burger joint." There is an irony in there somewhere.

Dan Romanchik

Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 6:22 p.m.

@bedrog The ad you mention touting buying local is actually this month's Fake Ad!


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 4:13 p.m.

@ Ryan J. Stanton The story says 250,000 not 25,000. BTW Ryan it's not only polite to answer your email it's professional, too.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 3:45 p.m.

Having tried both Culvers and 5 Guys. I will take Culvers! If I had to choose between Crazy Jim's and the above - Crazy Jim's hands down. I remember when Red Robin was a single store in Seattle, just off campus. They dumbed down the burger menu big time to turn it into a chain. I miss the original Red Robin and I don't go to the chain because of the let down. I wish them well in Ann Arbor. Local jobs are always good.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 2:51 p.m.

I might rip on 5Bros Burger joint or whatever the heck it is called...but Then again, I never shopped much at the Shaman Drum for several reasons: No sales/discounts. All books were almost always full list price. Most of their stock I found used for a cheaper price at Dawntreader anyway. The graphic novel collection was better at Vault of midnight, a TRUE independent gem, anyway. Shaman had some good speakers, and a good rep, but was a hard store to support actually, because of better prices and equal availability at other independent and used stores in town that are still going strong. I never bought into all of Poohrt's community activism hype about a book co-op and can't say I really miss the store...but dang, a burger joint on state is NOTHING to get excited about.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 2:46 p.m.

Wow. More disposable hip fast food cuisine for the college crowd on a block already overloaded with the same. Call me Townie, but i don't venture past Michigan Theatre anymore with all the PotbellyStarbuckCosiJimmyJohns disposable carbon copy establishments. Burgers, with the addition of Great Dakota and Bagger Daves, seem to be taking over where the "sub sandwich craze" (potbelly, dibellas et al.) left off.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 2:35 p.m.

Call me when In-n-Out comes to town....till then, I'll stick with locally owned fare when I'm in town.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 2:34 p.m.

Too bad they use styrofoam (shown in the picture) and don't make a specific effort to use locally- and sustainably-raised beef (stated on their FAQ page). For these reasons I'll continue to head to Arbor Brewing to get a burger when I'm in town.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 1:57 p.m.

5 Guys are very good burgers and fries, but it's no where near the (ahem) "experience" of Crazy Jim's Blimpy Burgers. Also 5 Guy's aren't exactly cheap with prices closer to Fudruckers then cheap food. I do believe they have a vegetarian option available, but seriously seriously WHY? Enjoy life eat meat, somethings gotta kill ya! :-)


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 1:11 p.m.

BTW, DDOT - this is a privately held chain, no stock traded, so no public shareholders or other caveats of being a public company. Enjoy!

Ryan J. Stanton

Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 1:06 p.m.

Here's the FAQ on their website. I'm disappointed that, while they claim to offer 25,000 ways to order a burger, none of them include a healthy vegan burger. Oh well, I'll eat at any of several places within a block of Five Guys where a vegan burger is on the menu... unless they are reading this and decide to expand their menu to accommodate Ann Arbor's large vegetarian/vegan population.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 12:59 p.m.

Ummmmm!... burgers!! The menu is simple - lots of interesting free toppings. I'll take this place over another Cafe Pretentious, any day!


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 12:18 p.m.

@wolverine: You're right, my bad. I was a little too north in my reference.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 11:37 a.m.

DDOT- If I remember correctly, the original Borders Book Store used to be where M-Den is now located at, not where Urban Outfitters now is.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 11:16 a.m.

@4fingers: I don't think you cited the best example, because I lived here when Borders was a large, single-unit, nationally recognized independent bookstore where Urban Outfitters sits now. Arguably one of the top 5 bookstores in the country at the time. It's morphed into a struggling, mismanaged chain outfit that probably won't exist in another 5 years. I agree that chains offer much that Americans desire, i.e. speed, low prices, uniformity, convenience, ubiquity, etc...but in my mind, if they had a good idea or model to begin with, most eventually become slaves to their shareholders and the constant economies they make in the pursuit of the bottom line lead to a diminished experience for the customer. I'd rather take my dollars and look for what is both unique AND delicious out there, and I don't think it's going to be with another chain. At least most of the time.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 11 a.m.

Ann Arbor needs stores that being in customers. This place should do that. I liked the SD, but never bought a lot there. Lot's of places to buy or view stuff now outside the bookstore concept. A bookstore was a vehicle to display and sell books and music. Lot's of other ways to do that now. In a way, sort of like illuminated manuscripts in the Middle Ages. Once printing was invented, those manuscripts phased out quickly.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 10:50 a.m.

@aamom just looked at the picture.Boy that does look good!

4 Fingers

Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 10:40 a.m.

For all of you who think chain restaurants are the devil's seed, just remember at some point they were local, and grew their business. (See Border's Book Store)


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 10:36 a.m.

That picture is making me hungry! Never tried one but have heard they are good.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 10:28 a.m.

re wolverines apt post...there's an interesting ad in the new a2 observer from the local chamber of commerce suggesting that in general less online shopping and more patronage of actual brick, mortar.. and people.. businesses, would perhaps be less cheap in the short run but better for the society in the long run ( via little things like 'jobs' etc)... with the demise of print newspapers, bookstores etc to the internet, amazon etc, its hard to argue with that perspective...... but a good burger is also a fine thing!


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 10:25 a.m.

I'm sorry, but I don't feel bad about Shaman Drum closing. That was place smelled, was overcrowded, and overcharged you immensely on books. Good riddens.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 10:19 a.m.

I am a former Shaman Drum employee from a few years back. If all the people who are making condescending remarks about the burger place actually came and bought books at the Drum, instead of browsing at the shop, and then going home to order the books from Amazon, the Drum would still be in business. Thanks to these hypocritical Ann Arborites, the Drum went out of business. I met many a "customer" who would come and make use of the resources offered by the Drum, and then come back a few days later, and actually tell us they ordered the book from Amazon to save a couple of bucks.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 10:15 a.m.

There's a reason why Shaman Drum went out of business, changes in the retail bookstore market notwithstanding. While SD was an Ann Arbor staple for many years, I never got the sense that their presence in the community was overtly lauded (in comparison to a place like Leopold Bros. who seemed to draw in all sorts of folks). Furthermore, I remember the groans some of my classmates would utter when professors suggested we get some of our textbooks at SD when we KNEW we could get them on order from Ulrich's for less. FIve Guys is a fantastic place, and given the success of M-Den's move to State as well as Chipotle, I bet it's going to be a win-win for Ann Arbor. On another note, PersonX: what are you talking about re: State Street becoming a chain street? Unless you consider Stucchi's, Ashley's, Red Hawk, and Totoro as major chains, I'd say the balance is just fine.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 10:07 a.m.

Haha could this finally be the end of Great Wraps (directly across the street)? With their bottom-of-the-barrel quality, the only thing they had to offer was being one of the cheapest restaurants on State. I get the feeling the customers will rather cross the street and go to Five Guys. I suppose if you hate waiting in lines you could still go to g-dubs. I am happy to see more affordable restaurants coming to the area, but the Shaman Drum had a beautiful storefront and I was really wishing something else aesthetically pleasing would go in.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 9:51 a.m.

Del Taco would make a welcome addition to the fare in town.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 9:48 a.m.

I'd take a delicious burger over the "experience" of getting overcharged at Shaman Drum any day.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 9:37 a.m.

With the I-Pads, Kindles, and other electronic means of reading the book business in general has taken a big hit. When it comes to the stomach you just can't duplicate food with a gadget. It's a new world out there and we may as well get used to it. Jobs are a great thing to have in Ann Arbor right now.

Elaine F. Owsley

Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 9:31 a.m.

I'd be curious to know how many of the pro-bookstore folks actually ever or were regular customers of Shaman Drum. Maybe they didn't put their money where their philosophy was?


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 9:29 a.m.

I'm with PersonX. Why does the campus area of State Street need another chain restaurant? Do people enjoy feeling like part of a herd when they patronize these places? It is the independents that create. It is the chains that imitate and mass produce. It's like choosing between having an original by the actual artist or buying a print sold at Walmart that you know 20 million other people have also. And it's not that I believe the area should be bereft of chains, but that it's going the other way and becoming saturated with them. The world only needs so many McDonald's, Paneras, and now 5 Guys Burgers'. Enough.

Barb Roether

Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 9:18 a.m.

The times are truly a'changing. This will be a welcome addition to bring more people back to the area. We can dream of what was but there needs to be some new places to get the energy flowing back to State St.Once there is more traffic the unique independent business owner has a change of succeeding again.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 9:07 a.m.

I am sure that there are many people who prefer a burger chain to an independent bookstore, and there is no accounting or taste, but there actually is a point of view that prefers thinking over cholesterol. Anyone can make a better burger at home than a chain restaurant, but the brain needs a little nourishment that needs some outside help. Thinking does have a great future; it would be nice if that happened here and not elsewhere. State ST. is becoming full of chains an will look like anywhere else, which may be nice to some people, but saddens those who like individuality and are not just creatures of pop culture. Sad way to waste a life....


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 8:43 a.m.

bring 'em all on, Red Rubbin or 5 Guys w/ Flies, Blimpy's will take on all comers. It's better than food.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 8:31 a.m.

Isn't there another burger place opening just south of the Michigan Theater? Thought I saw a sign......I could be wrong on this. I'm not sure.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 7:56 a.m.

Shaman Drum is were the "guy who blew up the Pentagon" gave a talk a few years ago. Thank God we have something good moving in.

Doug Boynton

Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 7:06 a.m.

Yum! One more reason to visit Ann Arbor this summer. Five Guys makes the *best* burgers!


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 6:59 a.m.

The phrase 'spitting on the grave' comes to mind.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 6:56 a.m.

@oldrustynail and michiganpoorboy Why not invest some of YOUR capital and open another bookstore? Talk is cheap! But it takes something more to actually open any business!


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 6:18 a.m.

I agree with Daniel. We go from an independent bookstore that nobody cares about to a place with the best burgers in the country, that people in the community will actually visit (not just students), that will do a thriving business for years to come, and will create a few jobs along the way. The point of business is not to fulfill your philosophical dreams of what a utopian society should look like but to meet people's needs and desires.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 6:08 a.m.

More burgers thats what America needs


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 5:45 a.m.

Five Guys ROCKS! I'm a regular at the one at the Plaza at King of Prussia (PA). I predict it will have a long, cholesterol-laden life in Ann Arbor. The students will love it! Just remember, koolaid-drinking Ann Arborites: not all national chains are evil profiteering minions of Satan. This one in particular will provide jobs for students besides being immensely popular on Sunday nights when there's no dorm food to be had.


Sat, Jun 5, 2010 : 5:10 a.m.

From a national recognized independent bookstore to a burger joint. Hey, that's a real move up.