May 30, 2012 // Franchising.com // Plymouth, MI - Penn Station East Coast Subs, the fast-casual restaurant known for its legendary Philadelphia Cheesesteak Sub sandwich served hot and made-to-order on freshly baked French bread, has signed an agreement to open 15 new restaurants in the Detroit area over the next eight years, which is the largest deal Penn Station has signed in recent years. The first restaurant will open this fall in the former Blockbuster Video spot in the Kroger Plaza at the corner of Ann Arbor Road and Sheldon Road (44431 Ann Arbor Road) in Plymouth and the second will open in the first quarter of 2013 in Taylor. The group is targeting Livonia, Royal Oak, Warren, Troy, and several other cities in the metro Detroit area for their next locations.
The entrepreneurs behind the business are Elliott Baum, Mike McKinley, Michael Horowitz and managing partner Stewart Napier. The group has a great deal of experience in the restaurant industry. Napier started working at Burger King when he was 15 as an hourly employee. He moved up the ladder to hourly manager, assistant manager, restaurant manager and district manager before he became director of operations. Napier stayed as director of operations for a local Burger King franchisee for almost 13 years.
“The restaurant business is in my blood. This isn’t a career change for me; I am simply taking my experience and skill set and expanding into a new and exciting brand,” Napier said. “I was looking for a franchise that provided top quality food made fresh for customers in a simple operation with great corporate support. Elliott was the one who pointed out Penn Station and after I tried it at the Novi location I was hooked. Not only did I pursue a franchise opportunity, I became a loyal customer of Penn Station.”
Originally founded in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1985, Penn Station is an upscale, fast-casual restaurant renowned for its legendary Philadelphia Cheesesteak Sub sandwich, served hot and made-to-order on freshly baked French bread. Penn Station serves a variety of hot and cold subs, as well as fresh, hand-cut, made-to-order French fries, hand-squeezed lemonade made several times daily and chocolate chunk cookies baked fresh in the restaurant.
Penn Station has more than 235 restaurants in 13 states including Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. All but two locations are franchised. Projections call for the opening of 30 restaurants in 2012, increasing to 40 in 2013 and 45 in 2014. Markets targeted for growth include Kansas City, Richmond, Chicago, Detroit, Nashville and North and South Carolina, as well as a number of other existing markets.