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Potbelly Sandwich Shop wants to open in Buffalo region

Potbelly Sandwich Shop, a fast-casual restaurant chain, wants to open in the Buffalo region.

The restaurant is known for its toasted sandwiches and handmade milkshakes. The restaurant’s decor has a rustic, 1940s feel and often hosts live music. Its menu contains mostly sandwiches and salads that range in price from $4 to about $7.

The Chicago-headquartered company said it is attracted to the area because of its “strong mix of attractive residential and growing business communities,” according to Rick Fossali, Potbelly’s senior director of domestic franchising. It is looking for franchise partners and hopes to enter the local market sometime this year. The initial plan is to open one store, but the company feels Western New York can eventually handle multiple locations, the company said. It is looking in both Buffalo and its surrounding suburbs for locations.

“We have a strong history of developing sites in central business districts,” Fossali said.

Potbelly is a publicly traded company with more than 300 restaurants across the United States, as well as a handful of locations in the Middle East. The company’s president and CEO, Aylwin Lewis was previously an executive at Yum! Brands and Sears Holdings. The stock, trading on the NASDAQ under ticker PBPB, was at $12.25 Wednesday, within its 52-week range of $10.91 to $16.64.

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