EO Cincinnati Blog
The largest Tom + Chee restaurant yet is opening this fall in West Chester.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Troy & Lynn Harden (EO Member), the local franchisee for Tom + Chee restaurants outside the Interstate 275 loop, said he expects to open the 3,200-square-foot store at 9328 Union Centre Blvd. near the Chipotle. The latest Tom + Chee outpost, which serves a menu built around childhood favorites grilled cheese and tomato soup, is scheduled to open in mid-November.
In addition to being the largest Tom + Chee location, it will be the first in the chain to serve alcohol. The West Chester Tom + Chee will sell craft beer and wine, Harden said. While he doesn’t expect alcohol sales to be a large portion of his business, maybe 5 percent to 8 percent, he wants to provide customers with the option of a glass of wine or a beer with their grilled cheese and tomato soup. The beer selection will be craft beers, mostly from local brewers.
When looking at other franchise opportunities, Harden said he hit it off with Tom + Chee founders Trew Quackenbush and Corey Ward because of their passion for the business.
“They found a niche no one else has gotten into,” Harden said. “They just have something.”
While this is Harden’s first restaurant franchise, he’s been in the restaurant business for years. Most recently, he was in upper management at Hofbrauhaus Newport.
The total investment to build out this larger location will be about $300,000, Harden said. The restaurant will have a layout that resembles the typical Chipotle, as well as a larger kids area. Harden expects to hire about 60 people to staff the West Chester restaurant.
Pamela Miller-Shrout, retail specialist with North Ridge Realty Group, represented Harden in the West Chester deal, which is a seven-year lease.
Aside from the West Chester location, Harden has a letter of intent for a space along Mall Road in Florence for his first Northern Kentucky location. He sees room for eight locations in the Tri-State outside the I-275 loop, as far north as Oxford and as far south as Union.
Cincinnati-based Tom + Chee is a fast-casual restaurant with 13 locations. Six additional locations, including spots in Indianapolis and Omaha, Neb., are listed as coming soon.
NOTE: Story originally posted HERE.