Arooga's is opening in New York, with its fourth multi-unit franchise agreement and its sixth state.
Arooga's Grille House & Sports Bar, the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based award-winning full-service casual restaurant and bar, today announced it has entered into a multi-unit franchise agreement with JGJO Development Co. LLC to open a minimum of 10 locations in the Long Island (Nassau/Suffolk Counties) and Queens areas of New York.
Arooga's has nine—soon to be 10 corporate locations in Central 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. In May, the brand announced a multi-unit franchise agreement with Jersey Wings Unlimited Inc. to open a minimum of six locations in the Monmouth, Middlesex, and Ocean County areas of New Jersey.
The JGJO agreement, under the direction of Joseph A. Alagna, Jr. and Stephan A. Stein, gives the Arooga's brand a total of 44 units, 10 corporate and 34 franchise locations, either built or under contract. Alagna and Stein are the principals of Joseph Gunnar & Co., the Wall Street brokerage and investment banking firm, and the general partners of Buttonwood, a private equity venture capital fund.
Alagna, chairman and CEO of the new franchisee, says, "We are thrilled to partner with Arooga's and are anxious to bring the exciting Arooga's experience to the Long Island, New York, marketplace. We spent more than two years researching dozens of casual dining platforms and are convinced that Arooga's does it best."
Adds Stein, a JGJO partner, "The Arooga's concept is unique in that it combines best in class entertainment technology, back of house technology, and food and beverage in a family-friendly sports bar environment. All cylinders are firing at Arooga's."
JGJO is positioned to hit the ground running as two of its limited partners, who will oversee daily operations, are seasoned former multi-unit general managers of a nationally prominent and successful casual dining restaurant chain.
Since Arooga's opened its first restaurant in 2008, it has focused on an innovative menu featuring fresh, cooked-to-order items, offering a large selection of draft beers and, more TV screens than any other sports bar. Arooga's is perhaps best known for being selected as 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.
"This is a great time to be an Arooga's franchise partner and we are thrilled to work with the tremendous team at JGJO to bring this brand to the Long Island area," says Keith Swade, director of franchise development for Arooga's. "We have aligned with great partners and will have more exciting news regarding new markets in the very near future."
Arooga's, on the verge of its 7th anniversary, is one of the fastest growing restaurant concepts in the country. "The news at Arooga's just keeps getting better," says Gary Huether, Jr., president and co-founder of Arooga's. "We knew from the beginning that we were on to something great in an industry looking for something more. Our recent agreements give us the opportunity to show the world what the Arooga's brand is all about."