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DALLAS-Dallas-based Romacorp Inc. opens its first international express restaurant and inks a Netherlands Antilles franchise pact.

Caracas, Venezuela, gets the lead spot in the international rollout of the Tony Roma’s Express in the CCCT mall. Franchisee Representaciones Tropical Ribs CA owns two Tony Roma’s, but it’s the first in the concept line to open internationally. It won’t be the last, say executives of the 430-sf design.

Sam Rothschild, senior vice president of operations, says the plan is to add express eateries in the US and abroad. A franchise partner already has a prototype in the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, OR.

The Netherlands Antilles pact calls for a minimum of three traditional Tony Roma’s restaurants under the leadership of Ruben Mansur Jr. The franchisee will open the popular ribs restaurant in Curacao, St. Maarten and Bonaire. Mansur also holds the rights for Aruba.

“Tony Roma’s is well known throughout the Caribbean and South America and we are confident that the concept will be welcomed in our markets,” says Mansur. He also manages a number of real estate ventures, gasoline distribution and convenience store operations as well as a liquor and wine distribution company in Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.

Romacorp is a wholly owned subsidiary of Roma Systems Inc. The subsidiary has 60 restaurants and franchises another 183 restaurants in 29 states and 22 foreign countries and territories. The first Tony Roma’s restaurant opened almost 30 years ago in North Miami.

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