A Pennsylvania-based restaurant chain that uses an automotive theme for its decor and menus said Thursday it will place a restaurant in the Toledo area within the next two years.
Quaker Steak & Lube of Sharon, Pa., a casual-dining chain that features chicken wings and barbecue ribs, said it held an online contest recently asking consumers to decide where it should build its next restaurant, and Toledo was the winner.
The results were tallied Wednesday evening, the company said.
“It was a Facebook promotion for our fans and we just announced the winner is Toledo. No groundbreaking date has been set because we’ve only now decided on Toledo,” said Leslie Tomko, the company’s marketing manager.
“More information will be following and we will be looking for a site. It’s still very early in the planning stages,” she said.
Once Quaker Steak finds a suitable site for a restaurant, “construction usually goes very quickly,” Ms. Tomko said.
However, it may take awhile to find a site and it could be up to two years before the chain enters the Toledo-area retail market, she added.
Even if Toledo had not been the popular choice on Facebook, there was still a strong possibility that Quaker Steak, which has 17 restaurants in Ohio and 60 locations overall in 21 states, was headed for the Glass City.
Steve Serchuk, a commercial real estate agent with the Toledo office of c., Signature Associates Insaid the chain had been scouting potential sites in the Toledo area for almost six months. He said Quaker Steak showed particular interest in one site in southwest Toledo and another in West Toledo.
Kurt Pollex, a commercial real estate agent with the Reichle Klein Group in Toledo, said he has worked with Quaker Steak on potential locations, and it seemed likely the company would find a suitable site in Toledo fairly soon.
“They’re a good group to work with,” Mr. Pollex said. “... I think Toledo has been a logical next step.”
Mr. Pollex compared Quaker Steak to the Buffalo Wild Wings and Fricker’s chains, in that they serve popular foods such as chicken wings and ribs but also generate an enthusiastic family atmosphere through multiple large TV screens tuned to sporting events, and through outdoor events held in their parking lots.
Ms. Tomko said Quaker Steak, which is a play on the name of the Quaker State motor oil company — the company’s first location was opened in a former gas station and its restaurants have cars hanging from the ceilings — is heavily involved in the community and stages several parking-lot events, such as concerts or motorcycle and classic car nights.
“We like to hold family events and older-crowd events, so we’ll use our parking lots. Each restaurant has its own individual marketing manager and they are encouraged to do a lot of community works,” Ms. Tomko said.
Of Quaker Steak’s 60 locations, 12 are company-owned and the rest are owned by franchisees.
The Toledo restaurant would be company-owned.
Each of its restaurants is between 4,000 and 7,000 square feet, and while most are stand-alone buildings, Ms. Tomko said the company has allowed some franchisees to place stores in shopping malls and strip centers.
Contact Jon Chavez at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6128.