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Published: Thursday, 9/5/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Steak Escape to serve up new location in Maumee

Conant Crossing store to get expanded menu

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The local franchisee of Steak Escape, a quick-serve sandwich chain that has been operating in Toledo for nearly three decades, primarily in Westfield Franklin Park, plans to add a second location in Maumee the first week of October.

Mike Judge, the franchise owner, said his new store will be in the Conant Crossing strip center near the south end of the Meijer store on Conant Street. The 2,200-square-foot site is a former Donato’s Pizza store.

The new Steak Escape will seat 37 and feature a pickup window for customers who call or fax orders in advance. Mr. Judge said he plans to hire about 25 workers, mostly part-timers, over the next few weeks.

He said he has wanted to add a second store for years but could never find the right location.

He began work for Steak Escape as a manager while at Ohio State University in Columbus in 1982, when the chain was founded. Two years later, at age 23, Mr. Judge received one of the chain’s first franchises — a store in the former Portside Festival Marketplace in downtown Toledo.

When Portside closed in 1990, Steak Escape was left without a home. But Mr. Judge, who also had a store in Ann Arbor that later closed, reopened his Toledo franchise in 1993 in then-Franklin Park Mall and has remained there.

Steak Escape stores, which sell cheesesteak-type sandwiches, are primarily in mall food courts and airports, where they can take advantage of high traffic. But over the last few years the chain has launched two new concepts to help move it into free-standing stores and strip-center end locations where the stores can have drive-through windows.

The Maumee location will have only a pickup window, as opposed to a drive-through, but Mr. Judge said the store is one of Steak Escape’s new concepts. It will have new food items in addition to the chain’s classic menu.

“I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback from a lot of people, not just my customers. Even the store owners in the [Conant Crossing] center have been very supportive,” Mr. Judge said.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.



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