Cousins Maine Lobster Makes a Deal in Illinois

A new franchise agreement will include food trucks as well as brick-and-mortar restaurants.

Cousins
Photo of Cousins Maine Lobster's Asbury Park restaurant, its flagship brick-and-mortar location, courtesy of the brand.

Cousins Maine Lobster has announced its expansion to Chicago and surrounding markets with a seven-unit franchise deal.

The development, consisting of two restaurants and five food trucks, will be led by brothers, Yunus and Thameem Shahul, who have launched five markets with the brand since 2018. Their first Chicago food truck, targeted to launch early 2024, will offer Maine lobster rolls, lobster grilled cheese, lobster tacos, New England clam chowder and more menu items. Restaurants will feature expanded offerings like Maine whole-belly fried clams and fish and chips.

Founded in 2012, Cousins Maine Lobster began with a food truck and a vision to make high-quality Maine lobster accessible and affordable. After appearing on “Shark Tank” and partnering with Barbara Corcoran, it started franchising and have expanded to more than 60 units across the U.S.

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