Newk’s Eatery Sets December 9 Opening Date for Tallahassee Restaurant

Newk's Eatery Sets December 9 Opening Date for Tallahassee Restaurant

Portion of restaurant’s first day sales to be donated to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Foundation

Newk’s Eatery, a fresh casual restaurant concept known for its culinary-inspired menu with an emphasis on freshness and flavor, announced today the chain’s second Tallahassee, Fla. restaurant opening on Dec. 9. The franchise restaurant, owned by husband and wife team John and Sandra Vann, will open at 1968 West Tennessee Street, within a few miles of the state capital. A portion of the first day’s sales will be donated to the Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Foundation.

Newk’s offers a variety of quality, craveable menu options from the franchise’s open-view kitchens, including fresh-tossed salads, oven-baked sandwiches, California-style pizzas, made-from-scratch soups and homemade cakes. The culinary-driven dining concept features exceptional ingredient combinations, such as salads with chicken, cranberries, pecans, artichoke hearts and gorgonzola cheese on a bed of spring greens, for mouth-wateringly distinct flavors.

Additionally, the restaurant offers a separate catering menu and original products that keep customers coming back. Newk’s Roundtable Club members get special offers to reward them for repeat visits. The club is named after the table featured in the center of every location that offers various complimentary spices, toppings and add-ons, allowing diners to customize their menu items. Another original Newk’s concept is Grab-n-Go, which gives busy guests the option to drop in and quickly pick out a favorite menu item from select offerings in the open, stand-up refrigerator case at the front of the restaurant.

Behind the Tallahassee store is franchise company J Royal Dining, which was founded four years ago when John and Sandra opened their first Newk’s in Panama City, Fla. As former teachers turned entrepreneurs, the Vanns owned and operated a beachside motel in Panama City for 25 years. Upon selling the business in 2002, their plans were to retire, but that didn’t last long. After six years of relaxation, the couple was looking for something new to do.

As repeat customers at Newk’s in Tuscaloosa, Ala. following sporting events at their alma mater, the University of Alabama, the pair became interested in the restaurant for more than its delicious food. Growing up seeing his mother run a catering business gave John the desire to enter into the restaurant business. After reaching out to the Newk’s leadership team, the Vanns decided to exit retirement and apply their business acumen to the Newk’s franchise opportunity.

In 2008, the husband and wife team signed on to open five area Newk’s from Tallahassee to Fort Walton. The most recent Tallahassee restaurant will be number three, as the Vanns have already opened a Newk’s in Panama City, and this is their second Newk’s in Tallahassee. John and Sandra decided to open the second store in Tallahassee to better cater to the college community. The restaurant will be a few short miles from the campuses of Florida State University, Tallahassee Community College and Florida A&M University.

“Following the success of our first Tallahassee location, we wanted to open a restaurant that would be more convenient for the large student population in the city,” said John. “Our new location is a prime spot for serving the 65,000+ students looking for a quick, good quality meal between classes.”

John oversees operations at the restaurants, while Sandra handles the finances. Most of the day-to-day management at the Tallahassee store will be handled by Richard Toole, who will relocate to the city to take on the responsibility of general manager. Hired by the Vanns to help open their first Newk’s in Panama City, Toole has been highly involved in J Royal Dining since its inception. When plans to open a second Tallahassee store materialized, Toole was chosen as the natural fit to head up the store’s operations.

To view the menu or learn more about Newk’s Eatery, visit or the Tallahassee store’s Facebook page.

For Newk’s Eatery franchise information, please visit:

As a refreshing casual dining experience in a stylish atmosphere with an emphasis on freshness, flavor and unparalleled customer service, Newk’s Eatery boasts a comprehensive menu of freshly-prepared entrees with sizable portions and exceptional ingredient combinations. Rapidly expanding since the first restaurant opening in Oxford, Miss. in 2004, Newk’s currently operates and franchises 65 units in 12 states. Headquartered in Jackson, Miss., the rights to more than 100 units of the culinary-driven dining concept have been sold across the South. From the restaurants’ open-view kitchens, customers dining in can watch the preparation of fresh-tossed salads, oven-baked sandwiches, California-style pizzas, made-from-scratch soups and homemade cakes and then customize their meals at the signature Roundtable. Conveniently, Newk’s also offers catering and daily-prepared menu options in the Grab-N-Go refrigerated case at the front of each store. For more information visit, join the Roundtable Club for email updates or follow the restaurant on Facebook and Twitter.