Expansion Roundup: Brands Plot New Destinations

Nobu Hospitality, Bojangles and Mountain Mike’s Pizza are among those carving out respective development plans.

VARNA COASTLINE
The Varna coastline marks the site of a future Nobu Hotel and Restaurant—one of two that the luxury hotel brand announced it was developing in Bulgaria this month.

This April, various brands—among them several pizza chains—are charting new developments in widely assorted locales, from Bulgaria, to the West Coast, to the Midwest.

Here are some of the latest announcements:

Nobu Hospitality. Last week, Nobu Hospitality announced that it will grow its global footprint with two new properties—Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Sofia, and Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Varna—in development in Bulgaria. The brand operates 19 luxury hotels worldwide, with another 20 in development (including the two in Bulgaria). This year, the Nobu brand expects to make its Canadian debut when it opens the 45-story Nobu Toronto. That property will include a 15,000-square-foot, two-level Nobu restaurant with a separate bar and lounge, two private dining rooms, a sushi bar and an outdoor terrace.

Bojangles. The 800-unit brand, which serves Southern-style chicken, biscuits and tea in 17 states, is set to enter California—more specifically, Los Angeles County—with a 30-unit agreement with entrepreneur Lorenzo Boucetta and Poulet Brothers. The first unit is expected to open in early 2025, followed by additional units over the next six years.

Pizza, pizza, pizza. Three pizza chains—Mountain Mike’s Pizza, Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Papa John’s Int’l.—each made expansion announcements this month. The first Mountain Mike’s Pizza in Wisconsin—its 10th state—will open later this year; the brand has two three-unit deals in the Milwaukee and Green Bay areas. For the 56-unit chain Russo’s New York Pizzeria, units are set to open this summer in San Joaquin, Danville, Stockton and Modesto, Calif. Papa Johns, meanwhile, recently shared plans to open 50 new restaurants by 2028.

Also making headlines earlier this month are c-store brand Wawa’s plans to enter a new state.

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