Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine Franchising, Inc. announced today that Tom Chamberlain of Hayworth, NJ and Alvin Lopez of Spring Lake Heights, NJ will be opening their second franchised Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine restaurant together (Tom has another franchise of his own). This restaurant is at 27 Smith Street Brooklyn, NY in the Fulton Mall area; the first Sophie’s to open outside of Manhattan where Sophie’s has enjoyed so much success with their iconic lunch spots. The Grand Opening is tentatively scheduled for the first part of September.
Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Lopez, who had long executive careers with the Affinia Hospitality Group before becoming a Sophie’s franchisees, agreed that this site in Brooklyn was the perfect spot for their next Sophie’s restaurant: “We had been scouting other sites in Manhattan but when we came to Brooklyn we fell in love with this location. There is a real cross section of business and local customers with a great mix of many cultures who we think will really enjoy the Sophie’s experience; friendly, fast service, with tasty food prepared fresh every day. We also believe that our take-out, delivery, and catering business will support longer hours and seven days a week operation which isn’t possible in the downtown areas of Manhattan.”
Sofia Luna, co-founder and President of Sophie’s, said that Tom and Alvin had done a good job building sales with the hungry lunchtime crowds in mid-town and should be well received in Brooklyn. “They met all of our key criteria, including keeping up the fast pace and high quality standards of the Sophie’s experience while retaining a family feel to their operation. Their passion for our food and strong service orientation will help them win over a whole new set of Sophie’s fans in Brooklyn. We look forward to continued success for these franchisees as they continue to grow their business.”
Sophie’s Cuban Cuisine restaurants have been delighting hungry lunchtime crowds since 1997 when the Luna family opened their first restaurant in Lower Manhattan near the World Trade Center.
Sophie’s features a unique combination of elements; tasty “comfort food” with a Cuban neighborhood feel; freshly made, healthy foods; a fast cafeteria-style line where guests see what they will be eating; and superior, speedy customer service where everyone is treated like a friend or neighbor. Take-out, catering, and delivery orders represent a large portion of overall sales.
The restaurants offer freshly made, savory, authentic Cuban specialties such as Ropa Vieja (Shredded Beef Stew), Camarón al Ajillo (Shrimps In Garlic Sauce), Maduros (Fried Sweet Plantains), Papa Rellena (Mashed Potatoes Stuffed With Ground Beef Stew), Ox Tail Stew, plenty of Arroz con Frijoles (Rice and Beans), and of course, the traditional Cuban Sandwich.
Luna estimates that initial development costs for a Sophie’s in New York City range from $425,000 to $850,000 (including the Initial Franchise Fee and excluding real property) depending on factors such as the size and shape of the space and whether it had previous restaurant use.