Five Guys, the popular US burger chain, is believed to have secured the Long Acre bar in Covent Garden from Novus Leisure for its first UK site, M&C Report has learnt. It is thought that the group, which operates over 1,000 sites in the US, has paid a significant premium for the venue, with an opening planned for later this spring. The Long Acre site closed earlier this week and Five Guys is expected to be on site next week. The chain had talked about operating five units inside Greater London within next 12 months. The UK operation is to be overseen by former Nando’s regional managing director Marcel Khan and Julie Speer from Five Guys, who has aided the rollout of the brand in the US. John Eckbert of Freston Road Investments, the vehicle led by Carphone Warehouse founder Charles Dunstone, to rollout the brand in the UK, told M&C Report last November that the group believed it could match the c270-estate Nando’s currently operates and its target of operating 400 units in the country. It recently strengthened its UK management team, with the appointment of Marc Balding as its new property director. Rival US operator, the Danny Meyer-led Shake Shack is set to open its first UK site in Covent Garden this summer have secured the Icecreamists and New York Deli units in the area’s Market Building, while Smashburger is also hoping to make its debut here over the next 12 months.