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RUSSO'S LOOKS FOR DALLAS EXPANSION

July 20, 2011

Dallas Business Journal


Russo’s Coal Fired Italian Kitchen is looking to expand throughout Dallas.

The restaurant chain, owned by Houston-based New York Pizzeria IncbizWatch ., has one location at 700 East Campbell Road in Richardson and more than 25 locations nationally. The Richardson location was opened by founder Anthony Russo in March of 2009 and bought by David Dooley in 2010.

Dooley, a management consultant and partner of Houston-based SLT Logistics, bought the rights to the Dallas market and hopes to find two more locations in Dallas in the next five months.

“I think there are a lot of opportunities. It’s really a matter of finding the right locations,” said Chris DeMers, general manager.

Dooley said he did not have a set number of how many locations he would like to open in Dallas.

The current Russo’s is in a mixed-use space in Richardson and DeMers said those kinds of spaces are good for attracting both families and business people at lunch. DeMers said they are open to many parts of Dallas.

At Russo’s, customers order at the counter, then get a number for a server to bring the orders.

Dooley said the family aspect of the restaurant attracted him in the first place.

“Food has almost become something you do while you are on your BlackBerry or watching TV,” Dooley said. “The notion of bringing families together and being able to sit down and enjoy a meal, have a glass of wine, and kind of recap the day, that was a nice piece of it for me.”

The franchise fee to open a Russo’s is $49,500 with a total initial investment to open a location at a under $1 million, Dooley said.

The restaurant is also re-branding with a new logo and a menu with quick lunch options for business people in the area, DeMers said.


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