Sunday, June 14, 2009

Smashburger comes to Grand Junction, Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Areios, LLC, a partnership of franchise and restaurant operators Ron Chaulk and Jim Cagle, is opening the first franchise location of Smashburger, a new innovative better burger restaurant concept, on Colorado’s Western Slope. The new Smashburger will open on Monday, June 15, at First and Grand in Grand Junction. Areios is planning to open four additional Smashburgers in the Grand Valley within the next 15 months.

Areios signed on with Smashburger as a Founders Club franchisee in 2008. Founders Club members represent the first large franchise groups to sign on with the Smashburger team and will play a key roll in the development and expansion of Smashburger. Areios is a restaurant industry veteran with experience owning and operating some of the country’s most successful and recognized concepts. It has agreed to open 30 Smashburgers in Western Colorado, Kansas City and Eastern South Dakota over the next several years. The First and Grand location in Grand Junction is the first that Areios will open.

To celebrate the opening of Smashburger’s first Grand Junction restaurant, Areios is hosting a special invitation-only event on Saturday, June 13. The store will officially open for business on Monday, June 15 at 10 a.m.

“We’ve been successful at running quick-service and fast-casual franchise restaurants in Colorado and other Western regions, but we were looking for a new opportunity,” said Cagle, CEO of Areios. “We found Smashburger and immediately knew it was exactly what we and Grand Junction needed. It combines the best burger I’ve ever tasted with a fun, modern setting that’s perfect for almost any occasion. Besides, I love burgers and supporting Colorado companies.”

Named for the cooking method used to create the perfect burger, Smashburgers are either a one-third or half-pound ball of beef smashed on a flat grill to sear in the juices. The menu also includes grilled Smashchicken sandwiches, Smashdogs, Smashfries, Veggie Frites, haystack onions, entrĂ©e salads and kids’ selections. Haagen Daz shakes, wine or frosty mugs of beer round out the perfect burger meal.

“Our burgers start with always-fresh-never-frozen 100 percent Angus beef. Smashing our burgers seals in the flavor, creating a better-tasting, better-quality burger,” said Tom Ryan, Smashburger founder. “We’re excited to see Areios open Smashburger’s first franchise location and help us continue our pursuit of being Colorado’s favorite burger place.”

Smashburger was launched and funded with $15 million by Denver-based private equity and concept development firm Consumer Capital Partners (CCP) in mid-2007. The company is rapidly expanding through corporate, joint venture and franchise locations across the country. Smashburger has close to 16 locations currently open in Colorado, Kansas, Texas and Minnesota, with nearly a half dozen more expected to open this summer. By the end of 2009, Smashburger will have approximately 40 corporate, joint venture and franchise locations opened.

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