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Regional Chains We Wish Would Go National


KMango
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Two shout outs for the DC area appear in Zagat's listing of twenty, Buzz Bakery and Cava Mezze Grill....

http://www.zagat.com/b/20-local-chains-we-wish-would-go-national

Here in DFW, the chain I wish would export elsewhere is Twisted Root Burger Company.  This would expand the reach of their funky bumper sticker atmosphere, ginger-spiced cocktails on tap, the gamut from game meat to black bean burgers, extensive topping choices, low-key bartenders, and a gratis variety of homemade pickles self-served from clear plastic barrels.  Not the top burger of a lifetime, but an inexpensive, relaxed, fun venue to remind yourself what it feels like to chill.

(and those barrels)

(would roll across the floor brilliantly)

(simulation donkey kong)

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I wish that Tin Drum Asian Cafe from Atlanta would expand.  I also really wanted Punk's from Annapolis to catch on, but even their one location closed, which was so sad as their food was so good.  And I absolutely love Out the Door in San Francisco.  Oh and Peebles doughnuts, I love Peebles.  I know there are more... 

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Primanti's (sometimes I get a nostalgic hankering for fries on my pastrami and fried egg at 3 am).

Cap egg and cheese!  Though, this is a great example of something that may lose it's luster now that I don't have the metabolism of a 21 year old like I did when I was attending Pitt.

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Cap egg and cheese!  Though, this is a great example of something that may lose it's luster now that I don't have the metabolism of a 21 year old like I did when I was attending Pitt.

Yeah ... I went to the Monroeville Primanti's (for the first time ever) a couple of years ago and it was kind of nasty (I'm almost willing to go a step further and say it was actively evil). Peter Smith spoiled me in a big way. Primanti's would *really* have to tighten up to go nationwide.

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You can't start this topic and not mention In-N-Out Burger.

Oh, I will admit, I love In-N-Out.  I make Hubby go whenever we are in California.  I don't know what it is about it exactly, but I love it.  It's addicting in a way that you can't put your finger on.  Unlike McDonald's salt lick fries, or etc, I never know exactly what keeps pulling me back.  Maybe it's because I can only get it now and again, but I don't know that's really the only draw.

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In-N-Out is closer to expanding nationwide than ever before.  Their whole thing was that they wouldn't open a location that was further than 500 miles (aka one day's truck) from their processing plant in California.

Well, after all these years they now have a second processing plant in the Dallas area.

I can certainly think of another region that would be prime to open a lot of locations in a 500 mile radius...

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In-N-Out is closer to expanding nationwide than ever before.  Their whole thing was that they wouldn't open a location that was further than 500 miles (aka one day's truck) from their processing plant in California.

Well, after all these years they now have a second processing plant in the Dallas area.

I can certainly think of another region that would be prime to open a lot of locations in a 500 mile radius...

 

So, its not a local chain, we wish would go national. Its a national chain some would want to expand locally. A bit off topic.

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I'm surprised Clyde's hasn't expanded out of the region.

The operating formula seems pretty well established.  What surprises me is the expansion so close together around the DC area.  I'd think they'd be better off expanding into larger population centers with "big splash" large investment restaurants vs. more of the smaller outposts around the beltway.

If I were them, I would NOT hit touristy spots, rather find populated areas where they can establish with the locals.   Places like Richmond, Baltimore or Philadelphia - I'd think they'd do very well in some NNJ locations.  They would find a local investor and share the investment - creating a local version of the Tower Oaks Lodge in the burbs or Old Ebbitt if they are in a downtown location.  They trick is they can open restaurants in a way that most others can't - with a very long time horizon.  So they can sit for a few years until profitability happens.

I wonder why they haven't.

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You can't start this topic and not mention In-N-Out Burger.

Yuk! Please stay out west.

Oh, I will admit, I love In-N-Out.  I make Hubby go whenever we are in California.  I don't know what it is about it exactly, but I love it.  It's addicting in a way that you can't put your finger on.  Unlike McDonald's salt lick fries, or etc, I never know exactly what keeps pulling me back.  Maybe it's because I can only get it now and again, but I don't know that's really the only draw.

Bullseye. I can't find anyone who can give a real reason for its popularity.

I'm surprised Clyde's hasn't expanded out of the region. 

My guess is that Clyde's CEO, John Laytham, hates to fly. (He also hates elevators, for what that's worth...)

For me, the best local chain that hasn't expanded yet is Buckhorn Grill in the San Francisco area. Of their 12 locations, 10 are in northern Califronia, and two are now in New York and are branded as Tri-Tip Grill.

If you're from Philly and you love a good Philly cheese steak, then one bite of a Buckhorn Tri-Tip sandwich will blow your mind. It is the absolute best steak sandwich I've ever eaten.

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Yeah ... I went to the Monroeville Primanti's (for the first time ever) a couple of years ago and it was kind of nasty (I'm almost willing to go a step further and say it was actively evil). Peter Smith spoiled me in a big way. Primanti's would *really* have to tighten up to go nationwide.

Everyone I know who has had Peter Smith's version and the "real" version picked the PS7 in a heartbeat. So, so good. (I don't bother with Primanti's anymore when I go to Pittsburgh, but don't they already have branches in FL too?)

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Primanti's (sometimes I get a nostalgic hankering for fries on my pastrami and fried egg at 3 am).

Cap egg and cheese!  Though, this is a great example of something that may lose it's luster now that I don't have the metabolism of a 21 year old like I did when I was attending Pitt.

Yeah ... I went to the Monroeville Primanti's (for the first time ever) a couple of years ago and it was kind of nasty (I'm almost willing to go a step further and say it was actively evil). Peter Smith spoiled me in a big way. Primanti's would *really* have to tighten up to go nationwide.

Everyone I know who has had Peter Smith's version and the "real" version picked the PS7 in a heartbeat. So, so good. (I don't bother with Primanti's anymore when I go to Pittsburgh, but don't they already have branches in FL too?)

Primanti Brothers is opening in Hagerstown, MD on Nov. 13, 2015.  The WTOP article also says, "In addition to the new Maryland location, Primanti Bros. has more than a dozen locations around Pittsburgh, with more in Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and West Virginia."

 
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In-N-Out isn't likely to show up in the mid-Atlantic anytime soon, but for those who want that sort of thing we have a regional chain down here in NC (and neighboring states) called "Cook Out" that is similar to INO in a lot of ways, and in addition to burgers has a long list of interesting milk shakes on the menu.  They've made it into Va. as far as Fredericksburg and Charlottesville, so the DC suburbs can't be too far off.

Here is a topic I started on the "chains" board of Chowhound a few years back similar to the contents of this one.  click

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