Newk's Eatery plans to open a second central Arkansas location, this one in the Park Avenue development, site of the old University Mall, in Little Rock.
The restaurant, which will offer indoor and outdoor seating for up to 160, is scheduled to open in mid-April, according to a news release from Newk's, based in Jackson, Miss.
The restaurant will be company owned and employ 70 workers. It's looking to fill a variety of positions, including management, culinary staff and guest services.
Newk's, which was started by the founders of McAlister's Deli, was rebranded from Newk's Express Café to Newk's Eatery about a year ago.
In June 2012, a group of six investors opened a Newk's location at 4317 Warden Road in North Little Rock. Haley Fisackerly, Doug Hederman, Justin McClure, Jay O'Mara, Steve Ramsey and Brian Rippee, all of Jackson, Miss., formed Mkuze Ventures Inc. to buy the Newk's franchise rights in central Arkansas. Fisackerly, Hederman and Ramsey either grew up or worked in central Arkansas.
The North Little Rock location had $1,426,795 in sales in 2013, making it the 33rd highest-grossing restaurant in North Little Rock last year.
Newk's opened its first restaurant in Oxford, Miss., in 2004 and now operates 66 restaurants in 13 states.
Newk's describes itself as a "fresh-casual" restaurant offering freshly made salads, sandwiches, "California-style" pizzas and homemade soups and cakes. It also has a catering menu.
On its website, the company estimates that the investment needed to open a Newk's is between $754,000 and $1,054,000.