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AUSTIN-A three-year-old restaurateur, Fired Up Inc., is expanding into California and Utah markets, signing deals for its Johnny Carino’s Country Italian restaurants.

WestBreck LLC will develop Johnny Carino’s in the California and Utah markets. John Gantes, president, and George Gantes, vice president, of WestBreck are also multi-unit operators of several chains, including Applebee’s, On The Border, Coco’s and Burger King in California. Temecula, CA is the first location; a summer 2001 opening is being planned.

Fired Up has franchise commitments pending for 108 Johnny Carino’s eateries in seven states and 10 countries. Creed Ford and Norman Abdallah had founded the Austin-based Fired Up Inc. in 1997, now owning 29 restaurants of various brands in Arkansas, Idaho, Oklahoma and Colorado as well as Texas.

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