Arooga's Grille House & Sports Bar is headed to Florida and Georgia with its sixth franchise agreement—and largest in the brand's seven-year history. The expansion is for 50 restaurants, which will more than double Arooga's national footprint.

Arooga's Grille House & Sports Bar, the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based award-winning full-service casual restaurant and bar, announced Wednesday it has entered into an area representative agreement with The Sporting Group, LLC to develop 50 locations over the next eight years throughout the state of Florida and five counties in the greater Atlanta area.

Arooga's currently has 10 corporate locations in Pennsylvania, and it opened its first franchise location in Uncasville, Connecticut, adjacent to the Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in March as part of a 15 location multi-unit agreement with the Mohegan Holding Company. Other franchise locations are currently under development in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Long Island, New Jersey, and Chicago markets. The new agreement gives Arooga's nearly 100 units, 10 corporate and 88 franchise locations either open, in development, or under contract.

"Arooga's brand integrity, quality products, cutting-edge technology, and unit economics fit nicely with The Sporting Group's growth strategy for the state of Florida and Atlanta markets," says Pam Price, co-owner of The Sporting Group, LLC and Pro Managers, LLC. "We are proud to be not only a franchisee of Arooga's but to also play such an integral role in the brand's development in two key markets in the South. We are confident in the direction that Arooga's leadership is taking the brand and feel that this is just the beginning of a long and profitable relationship."

Arooga's is perhaps best known for being selected as the winner of America's Next Top Restaurant Franchise, beating more than 250 entrants from 36 states in a program co-sponsored by Sysco Foods and The Franchise Edge in a nationwide search to find an independent restaurant to become the next great restaurant franchise.

"We are thrilled to be taking our game south with a proven partner that shares our dream for success and growth," says Keith Swade, director of franchise development for Arooga's.

"To look back over the past seven years and see our growth is truly remarkable,” adds Gary Huether, Jr., Arooga's president and co-founder. “We have always strived to provide our guests with an innovative menu featuring fresh, cooked to order items, an awesome place to watch their favorite sports on over 100 TVs, and a huge selection of hand crafted cocktails and draft beer, and it's this guest experience that I feel makes Arooga's an attractive choice for the right franchise partners. We can't wait to show the great states of Florida and Georgia what the Arooga's brand is all about."

Casual Dining, Chain Restaurants, Industry News, NextGen Casual, Arooga's Grill House & Sports Bar