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FERNDALE, MI-The 23-restaurant bd’s Mongolian Barbeque chain says it plans to open 10 locations a year over the next several years as it moves more heavily into the franchise arena. Billy Downs, the “bd” in bd’s Mongolian Barbeque, says the locally based restaurant company is also making a somewhat unique expansion–it will be opening anonprofit franchise in Ulaanbaatar, the capital city of Mongolia. The franchise will operate in conjunction with and help fund a youth charity program in Mongolia.

Downs says about half of the company’s 23 restaurants are company-owned and that he plans to open one company restaurant a year for the next several years, mostly in Michigan. “We’re ready to get more into franchising now and most of our growth will come from that route,” he says.

New restaurants are in the works in Flint and Kalamazoo, and Indianapolis. Downs adds the chain’s flagship Royal Oak restaurant will be moving in the spring, about a block south on Main Street. The new location will be about the same size as the current one, but will be on one floor, rather than two, making for a more convenient layout.

“Downtown Royal Oak is enjoying a little explosion of Downtown condos and lofts in about a four-block stretch. This move will put us right in the middle of those four blocks [on Main Street],” he says.

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