Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar & Grill restaurant concept is gaining steam by expanding with franchise locations in two new markets.

Ling & Louie’s franchises in the Boise, Idaho, and Anchorage, Alaska, markets will join the four locations currently open in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona, and Denver when the new locations open this summer.

The Ling & Louie’s concept, created and owned by Scottsdale-based Desert Island Restaurants, combines a fun atmosphere, critically acclaimed cuisine, and innovative drink menu. As a result, Desert Island Restaurants is beginning a nationwide franchising push, with the Boise and Anchorage locations leading the way. T

he restaurant’s slogan is “Not for Boring People,” and the cuisine is “Where Modern Asian meets American Comfort,” with a menu that is “thrilling, filling, with minimal billing.” The concept centers around Ling, a firecracker from Shanghai, China, and Louie, an all-American boy from Toledo, Ohio, who meet, fall in love, and eventually share their passion for food by opening an Asian restaurant.

“Ling & Louie’s has been very well received by customers and has the potential to be an extremely successful investment for our franchisees,” says W. Randall Schoch, founder and CEO of Desert Island Restaurants. “We’re very excited about the potential of the concept to become a nationally recognized, significant brand in the restaurant industry, and we’re pleased that the Boise and Anchorage franchises are leading the way.”

Boise and Anchorage are a particularly good for the Ling & Louie’s concept, Schoch says, because of their growth potential and the unique niche that Ling & Louie’s atmosphere and cuisine would occupy in the marketplace.

John DeHaven, the owner of Hapa Ventures, which is starting the Anchorage franchise, said that the Anchorage location will be in the heart of downtown near a university, making it an ideal place for the Ling & Louie’s brand. “Hapa Ventures is very excited to bring the Asian fusion cuisine of Ling & Louie’s to Alaska,” DeHaven says. &lrquo;After visiting the brand in Scottsdale and meeting Randy Schoch, we are pleased and honored to now be part of the Desert Island Restaurants family. We know our guests will truly enjoy the culinary excellence of Ling & Louie’s.”

DeHaven said he is also considering opening another Anchorage location, as well as one in Wasilla, Alaska.

Rex Chandler, owner of the Boise-area franchise in Meridian, Idaho, said he was attracted to the Ling & Louie’s concept because it was a good fit for the demand in the growing city’s restaurant industry. “I’ve watched the development and evolution of Ling & Louie’s over the past few years, and I have a lot of faith in concept and really like the cuisine,” Chandler says. “And I think the Boise-area works because of the timing and because the concept fits the demographics and market very well.”

Chandler, who has an almost 20-year track record of owning and operating successful restaurants, says the Meridian location is particularly strong because of its presence in a larger development and on a major thoroughfare. Desert Island Restaurants’ goal is to continue to launch new franchise locations of Ling & Louie’s throughout the country over the next few years and establish its brand in the restaurant industry.

“We believe we can take the Ling & Louie’s concept nationwide successfully and create some great opportunities for franchisees throughout the country,” Schoch says. “It’s a fun concept and one that we think will resonate with customers no matter where they live.”

Industry News, NextGen Casual