- The Washington Times - Monday, August 27, 2001

Jerry's Systems, best known for its subs and pizza, is getting fatter.

The Gaithersburg-based quick-service chain has partnered with Texaco to form Jerry's International a joint venture that will add 45 to 50 more Jerry's locations in the Caribbean and Latin America region within the next 12 months, says Jordan Fainberg, president of Jerry's International.

Jerry's already has 36 locations in 11 countries in Latin America. The majority of the units are located inside Texaco's StarMart convenience stores. Two of the six units in Haiti are stand alone locations.

Jerry's International will continue to develop new locations inside the Texaco convenience stores taking up about 600 square feet. But the company is also looking for other stand-alone locations and isn't limiting itself to the 11 countries it already has a presence in.

Mr. Fainberg says within the next four or five months Jerry's will be committed to at least four new overseas markets.

At this rate, Jerry's International is growing faster than Jerry's Systems, which has more than 115 units in the United States, Mr. Fainberg says.

The majority of Jerry's U.S. locations are in the Washington and Baltimore area, but the company does have one restaurant each in Delaware, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.

Local customers traveling to places like Brazil, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas will see a different menu from they do in this area.

"It's not the same program as it is in D.C.," Mr. Fainberg says. "We have to modify what we are doing."

For example, the Jerry's menu in Nicaragua includes fried chicken, which makes up about 60 percent of Jerry's International sales in that region.

Finger-lickin' good

Wingstop Restaurants Inc. a buffalo-style chicken wing chain is coming to Virginia.

The Garland, Texas-based quick-service restaurant has given Ashburn, Va., resident Kevin Lowry exclusive franchisee rights to develop two stores in Arlington and Alexandria. Although sites have not yet been selected, Mr. Lowry, 48, says he's on track to open the first restaurant by December or January. The second site will open in May.

Wingstop, which has a menu ranging from mild or hot wings to Hawaiian barbecue or lemon pepper wings, has locations in Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Georgia, Missouri and Texas.

Mr. Lowry a former information technology and telecommunications professional, says he eventually wants to develop Wingstop locations throughout the Washington metropolitan area.

Wingstop sites are typically 1,200 square feet to 1,800 square feet with enough space for 22 to 44 seats, Mr. Lowry says. The restaurants, located in strip malls, are open 4 p.m. to midnight Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to midnight on the weekends.

An X-treme deal

Mills Corp. has partnered with sports giant ESPN to develop public skateparks for skateboarding, bike-stunt riding and in-line skating.

The parks, which will be branded with ESPN's action sports franchise the X Games, will be located at some of the Arlington developer's retail and entertainment mega-complexes.

The initial X Games Skatepark is scheduled to open in November at Atlanta's Discover Mills. It is one of up to seven parks in development including the next one at Arundel Mills located off the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in early 2002.

The skateparks will be 40,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet and will consists of ramps, half-pipes and bowls for public skating, BMX riding and in-line skating. The facilities will have a retail component, large screen television to watch the X Games, as well as a lounge.

Mills already has existing skateparks not associated with the ESPN brand in Potomac Mills in Woodbridge, Va., Ontario Mills and the Black at Orange, both in California.

New openings

• Outback Steakhouse opened another location on Lee Highway in Warrenton, Va. There are 14 restaurants in Maryland and 26 other locations in Virginia.

• HomeGoods, a division of TJX Companies Inc. opened its third location in Maryland earlier this month in Gambrills. The home furnishings chain has locations in Columbia and Rockville.

• Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Retail & Hospitality runs every other week.

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