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ROSEVILLE, MN-In line with the company’s growth strategy for opening restaurants in the Midwest through 2007 Granite City Food & Brewery Ltd. is planning to open another brewery in this suburb of the Twin Cities. The company opened a Granite City Food & Brewery in Wichita in July and has announced plans to open a restaurant in Eagan, Minnesota in September, as well as restaurants in two Kansas City locations later this year.

Steve Wagenheim, Granite City Food & Brewery’s president and CEO, tells GlobeSt.com that the company’s growth model is based on what he refers to as the “4-6-8″ national-staging plan. The strategy calls for four restaurants in 2005, six in 2006 and eight in 2007. Wagenheim says the company, which first produced $4 million in annual sales, has surpassed its anticipated mark of $25 million to $30 million, and will soon generate $100 million in sales annually. The company expands in clusters, which is based on the company’s main brewing location. One wart house, Wagenheim says, can support 30 to 40 stores.

“By having multiple units in close proximity, it allows us to keep tight management control,” Wagenheim says. “The brewing process allows us to make the beer wort product in central location and finish on site. It’s all about is the economy of scale to produce under one management.”

Granite City Food & Brewery Ltd. currently operates nine Granite City Food & Brewery casual dining restaurants featuring “made-from-scratch” food and handcrafted beers. Its first Granite City location, in St. Cloud, MN, opened in June 1999. Subsequently, the company opened restaurants in Sioux Falls, SD; Fargo, ND; West Des Moines, IA; Cedar Rapids, IA; Davenport, IA; Lincoln, NE; Minneapolis; and Wichita, KS. Wagenheim says the company’s developer is currently negotiating on additional sites in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Minnesota for continued expansion.

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