Ford’s Garage, a budding burger-and-craft-beer franchise that gives the vibe of being in a 1920's service station and/or prohibition bar, is expanding its South Florida footprint.
With one restaurant already open and operating in Wellington, the Tampa-based franchise recently signed an agreement for the development of seven new restaurants throughout Broward, Martin, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties.
Looking ahead, brand president Steve Shlemon expects Ford’s Garage to open as many as 10-15 total restaurants in the region over the next several years.
“Ford Motor Company has quite a rich history as one of America’s most important manufacturing companies. That history also translates to a pretty cool dining experience, as it turns out, and we’re excited to be bringing that experience to South Florida,” says Shlemon. “With our Ford-inspired design cues and first-rate service and food, Ford’s Garage will offer something for everyone, from toddlers to grandparents.”
Founded in 2012 near Henry Ford’s winter home in Fort Myers, Ford’s Garage has a unique licensing agreement with the Ford Motor Co., allowing them rights to Ford’s iconic blue-oval logo, as well as other of the automotive giant's brand imagery.
Each restaurant is designed to look like a gas station from the 1920s and is filled with vintage Ford vehicles, fixtures, and gas pumps. Servers sport blue mechanic shirts. Blue shop cloths double as napkins. Even the bars inside the restaurants are decidedly vintage, mixing prohibition-style elements like brick, richly colored woods, and a copper bar top that’s hammered by hand.
Aside from all of the nostalgia, Ford’s Garage is a good old fashioned burger and beer joint, too. Burgers are the main draw, with the finest varieties of meat (and a vegetarian option) coupled with all-natural aged cheeses, fresh toppings and gourmet sauces on artesian buns branded with the Ford logo. The restaurants also specialize in popular American comfort food options like homemade meatloaf, chicken wings and tenders, onion rings, and famous macaroni and cheese. Lighter fare such as fresh salads, grilled chicken, and fresh fish is also available.
“It’s a very broad market that we attract into Ford’s Garage,” Shlemon says. “It’s not pretentious, it’s come-as-you-are, it’s got a great vibe and energy. The food is fantastic all the way across the board. It’s a very comfortable, inviting environment that’s unique to the casual dining space.”
The local expansion is part of a broader growth initiative that expects to see the 16-unit chain – all of which are operated by franchisees – open a dozen or so more restaurants nationwide by the end of next year.
Including a franchise fee of $50,000, the total investment to open a Ford’s Garage restaurant ranges from $1,461,800 to $6,353,000.
Most of Ford’s Garage’s forthcoming locations will be approximately 8,900 square feet with about 250 seats, and have between 95 and 115 employees.
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