Correction: In the July 20 print edition, the Murrell name was misprinted as Murray. The Times regrets the error.
By Kaitlin Murphy | email@example.com
“It feels like we are going home,” Five Guys’ public relations coordinator Brooke Blankenship said.
What started in 1986 by the local Murray family as a stand alone restaurant on Columbia Pike in Arlington grew to five locations in and around Alexandria. The restaurant was franchised in 2002 and later went global. After decades of being located outside the Beltway, Five Guys saw an opportunity to move and settled on Alexandria.
The search itself was a tall order. With 250 people working in their corporate offices in Lorton living throughout northern Virginia and approximately 250 colleagues across the country, the headquarters had to be a convenient location. Five Guys took the time to find the best location. They started to look for space before the pandemic because their lease was coming up for renewal.
“That was the impetus of the move in general and the search paused during the shut- down. That benefited us be- cause more spaces opened up and so we were really able to set the criteria that served us best,” chief marketing officer Molly Catalano explained.
“We held a focus group of what the employees wanted in a new space and how they envisioned a collaborative yet hybrid environment which had to be worked into the design,” Catalano continued.
The location at 1940 Duke St. fit the bill. Designers helped with the build out and incorporated the desired elements of the space, taking the employees’ ideas into consideration. Innovations such as standing desks and phone booth rooms were introduced to the design concept.
“The space is down to earth. It reflects our brand. Feels homey, very comfortable. The new space is designed more intentionally for better collaboration when the team comes together,” Blankenship said.
“[It] feels like Five Guys. We are also excited for the amenities of the city as it will help with recruitment and attract talent and we are excited to be within the energy of the Beltway. The owners of Five Guys are enthusiastic about Alexandria. Our new location feels like we have moved to a community rather than just an office building,” Blankenship added.
The Carlyle neighborhood is convenient with close proximity to D.C., the airport, public transit, hotels and restaurants in addition to partnership opportunities with local businesses.
From quiet beginnings to global success, the Alexandria homecoming reflects the depth and breadth of the city’s small neighborhood charm and big city offerings.
The doors to the new headquarters opened July 17.