Nearly a year and a half since opening, and about two months since being put up for rent, the Flatbush Avenue outpost of Five Guys, the rapidly expanding national burger chain, has closed. The phone line has been disconnected and signage has been taken down.
While Five Guys is generally quite popular, and this is a high traffic location (both pedestrian and auto), I never saw many people in there, and its giant dining room was never more than half-full. With a probable recent rent increase (hence the "For Rent" sign), it's apparent that corporate just made the executive decision to pull the plug.
Another likely influence upon its closure, in my opinion, is the opening of the Barclays Center. Two years ago, this location would have appeared to be a cash cow for several reasons: proximity to the arena (and those walking to and from events from their parking spots), proximity to the subway (and those passing by on their way home from work), and proximity to the thousands of people who live within walking distance in Park Slope, Prospect Heights, and Fort Greene.
Unfortunately, they also had several elements working against them: a square footage (and therefore, most likely, a rent) that was far too large, a mostly ambivalent neighborhood, and (most tellingly) an arena-geared presumed clientele that never materialized.
As it's quite likely that the space has already been rented, it probably won't be long before we know what its replacement will be. As the For Rent sign has come down from the space formerly occupied by New Happy Taco next door, something tells me that this block will look a lot different a few months from now.