Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Popeyes

This artists' rendering shows a new building at Shiloh Crossing that will house Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Five Guys Burgers and Fries. 

Five Guys Burgers and Fries and a second Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen are coming to a new building at Shiloh Crossing on Billings' West End.

The two restaurants will bookend an 8,700-square-foot facility going up on a 2-acre lot in front of the Meridian and Bottega clothing shops, facing Shiloh Road, developer Steve Corning said Wednesday.

Construction of the building will begin this month and is expected to be completed in October. Both restaurants are expected to open shortly thereafter, Corning said.

“In terms of small individual tenants today, food vendors are the most active segment,” Corning said Wednesday.

He added that he’s seeking a tenant to fill the 1,500-square-foot space between the two.

The Five Guys store would be the Virginia-based company’s first in Billings and fourth in Montana. The others are in Bozeman, Kalispell and Missoula. All are owned by franchisee Matthew Carls, who also owns three stores in Eastern Washington.

Carls was not immediately available for comment. His Five Guys will occupy a 2,835-square-foot spot on the north end of the building.

Five Guys is one of country’s fastest-growing fast casual restaurants, with about 1,300 locations nationwide. According to Forbes magazine, it’s tops in the “better burger” category (burgers cost about $8), and its growth is making traditional giants McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King take notice.

A franchise costs $360,200 to $641,250 to develop, according to Franchise Direct, an online database. The company also charges a one-time franchise fee of $25,000 and a 6 percent royalty, according to the Franchise Direct.

Popeyes is the second Billings location for owners Jan and Denny Rehberg, who opened the state’s first store along King Avenue East in February 2015. It’s in a 2,854-square-foot spot on the south end of the building.

Since then, the Rehbergs have opened Popeyes locations in Kalispell and Missoula, and they’re looking for properties in Bozeman, Great Falls and the Billings Heights, said Denny Rehberg, a former congressman from Billings.

“It’s a very good concept,” Rehberg said of Popeyes.

He added that Montana lacks competition from other chicken eateries, such as southern favorites Church’s Chicken and Bojangle’s, which has helped fuel the growth.

Start-up costs are between $235,300 and $454,100 for a new Popeyes, according to the company. Popeyes also takes a 9 percent fee on gross sales for marketing and royalties.

Rehberg said he’d considered other West End locations for the restaurant but decided Shiloh Crossing offered the best potential.

“Right now, that’s kind of the hot spot,” he said.

The lease terms and building costs were not disclosed. Billings-based Langlas Associates is building the facility.

Corning, the developer, said the 80-acre Shiloh Crossing is nearly 100 percent full, and there are three two-acre plots available for new buildings.

“There’s just been tremendous activity at Shiloh Crossing," Corning said.

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Business reporter for The Billings Gazette.