Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar announced a new signed franchise agreement in Charlotte, North Carolina. The community restaurant will debut in early 2020. The brand has gained a loyal following for employing the go-getter spirit of a walk-on athlete while providing superior service and mouthwatering All-American menu items with a taste of Louisiana. 

The Charlotte restaurant will be locally owned and operated by long-time Charlotte resident James Hutchens. He is no stranger to the restaurant industry as the CEO of Pine States Restaurants and The Hutchens Group restaurant/retail development companies. Currently, he owns and operates the Charlotte area Freshii brand restaurants that have grown to be community favorites. Seeking a strong full-service restaurant to add to his growing portfolio, Hutchens partnered with Jason Sadowski, who owns the Walk-On’s locations in Fayetteville and Wilmington, to embark on this newest venture. Hutchens, with the support of Dave Tschirhart and Legacy Real Estate Advisors, are currently in site selection and aim to debut the restaurant to the community in 2020.  

Earlier this year, the brand announced expansion plans for North Carolina, looking to introduce more than 15 new locations throughout the state over the next five years. The growing brand now has deals inked for Fayetteville—opened in June; Wilmington—slated to open early 2020; Jacksonville—slated to open late 2020; and this most recent Charlotte announcement. Additional target markets throughout the state include further development in Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem among others. 

“It is truly an exciting opportunity to introduce a new dining destination to the community and we are eager to serve up our incredible, made from scratch food that will show our guests what true Louisiana cuisine is all about,” says Hutchens. “Walk-On’s is unlike anything in the area and we can’t wait to land on a location and begin construction to add to Charlotte’s growing dining and entertainment landscape. It will be our mission to deliver a remarkable experience to every guest and we look forward to fully immersing ourselves into the community.”

Walk-On’s diverse menu has offerings ranging from unique twists on game day staples—such as a Smoked Gouda Turkey Burger, Boom Boom Shrimp Poyboy, and Cajundillas, to upscale takes on Louisiana mainstays—such as Crawfish Etou-Ways, Mardi Gras Mahi, and Duck and Andouille Gumbo. Its innovative menu provides vast and flavorful dishes for every guest.

As stated by co-owner and NFL superstar Drew Brees, Walk-On’s is “a great place to bring my family, teammates and business colleagues,” and we’re excited to help “expand the brand across the nation.” Today, with over 150 locations in development across 15 states, the brand is on track for strategic franchise expansion nationwide. 

“Growing our presence in North Carolina is an exciting chapter for our growth story as we break into untapped markets with new franchise partners,” says Walk-On’s president & COO, Scott Taylor. “Our development team is poised for success and our initial locations throughout the state will no doubt bring success to enthusiastic entrepreneurs ready to join our team. With a proven business model, positive business environment, and open real estate market, North Carolina is an obvious and attractive area for Walk-On’s continued growth.”

Industry News, NextGen Casual, Walk-On's Bistreaux & Bar