Family restaurant wants to grow alcohol business.

A leader in the family-dining sector, Shoney’s aspires to become a player in the world of alcohol-serving casual-dining chains. Billing itself as a “family casual-dining concept,” the Nashville, Tennessee–based company introduced liquor service in a new prototype that debuted in Lawrenceville, Georgia, in January.

The new restaurant features Shoney’s traditional cooked-to-order entrées in a full-service setting, augmented by seasonal buffets. Also part of the new location is Shoney’s On the Go, the chain’s quick-serve option, which is included as an added convenience for those guests wanting takeout.

Another compelling aspect of the new prototype is its unique location—inside the expansive Sugarloaf Mills outlet mall, Shoney’s first foray into an enclosed-mall setting. The 3,500-square-foot restaurant seats 107 guests and is an average size for the chain, which opened an expansive 7,200-square-foot unit with indoor and outdoor seating in Panama City Beach, Florida, in 2013.

With more than 165 restaurants in 16 states, Shoney’s is a privately held company that traces its roots to the 1947 opening of a Charleston, West Virginia, drive-in restaurant. Industry estimates put the company sales at $319 million in 2012, with average unit volume approaching $1.5 million.

Casual Dining, Chain Restaurants, Feature