Penn Station East Coast Subs will open a new location at 411 Broad St. on Saturday, Sept. 6.
The restaurant is owned and operated by Ryan Lackey, a veteran restaurateur who owns two other Penn Station locations in Hixson and in London, Ky.
“Our restaurants have done really well. I really believe in the concept, and the food is simply fresh and excellent,” Mr. Lackey said. “When we looked to expand on our first restaurant, Chattanooga just made sense. I wanted an area where I could open multiple stores in one market. The Hixson restaurant has been very successful since opening in 2012 and we think the new downtown location will be just as popular.”
Mr. Lackey previously worked for Markey Enterprises, a franchisee of Ponderosa Steakhouse. While working for Markey Enterprises he also opened and operated a Frisch’s Big Boy. his wife, Emily, also helps with the operations of the Penn Station restaurants, but her primary focus will be growing her art business in Chattanooga as a muralist. The couple plans to open at least three more Penn Station restaurants in the Chattanooga area over the next five years.
Originally founded in Cincinnati in 1985, Penn Station is described as an upscale, fast-casual restaurant renowned for its legendary Philadelphia Cheesesteak Sub sandwich, served hot and made-to-order on freshly baked French bread. Penn Station serves a variety of freshly grilled subs, as well as fresh, hand-cut, made-to-order French fries, hand-squeezed lemonade made several times daily and chocolate chunk cookies baked fresh in the restaurant.
Penn Station has over 276 restaurants in 13 states including Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. All but one location is franchised. Projections call for the opening of 30 restaurants nationwide in 2014. Markets targeted for growth include Kansas City, Richmond, Chicago, Detroit, Nashville and North and South Carolina, as well as a number of other existing markets.