The president of East Coast Wings + Grill and three partners have bought a small restaurant chain called #getfried with plans to revamp it.
In June, ZorAbility, Inc., an advisory and investment company for emerging restaurant brands, bought a majority stake in #getfried, a brand started in Buffalo, N.Y., by Chris Covelli in 2015.
The #getfried chain is currently a “fry café” whose menu is based on French fries with various toppings. Items include French fries topped with pulled pork and barbecue sauce and sweet-potato fries topped with maple syrup, powdered sugar and cinnamon.
The chain has five fast-casual restaurants and three food trucks spread out across the country — in California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas.
ZorAbility is moving the company’s headquarters to Winston-Salem as it works to reevaluate the brand. Ballas’ partners in ZorAbility are Mark Lyso, also the executive vice president of operations for East Coast Wings; Tom Scalese, the chief operating officer of East Coast Wings; and Sammy Gianpoulos, the owner of Sammy G’s Tavern, Fratellis Italian Steakhouse, and Three Bulls American Steakhouse. ZorAbility is now the majority owner of #getfried with Covelli retaining a minority stake.
ZorAbility is in the process of studying the concept to figure out ways to enhance it and move it forward, Lyso said.
“We’re currently reevaluating the concept, the décor, the menu,” Lyso said. “We’re calling what we’re doing #getfried 2.0.”
Part of that will include tweaking the menu. “The original #getfried is a fry café,” Lyso said. “We’re looking at more of a bowl concept. But instead of rice as the starch, the French fry is the base, and then you choose a protein, a sauce to go on that.”
Lyso said that the company hopes to open #getfried in Winston-Salem and Charlotte but that no specific locations have been chosen. Lyso said that the brand is suited to high-traffic, urban locations, including downtowns.
“We hope to relaunch the brand by the fourth quarter of this year or first quarter of next year,” Lyso said. “But the opening of new locations will depend on availability.”