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MINNEAPOLIS-Famous Dave’s management plans to open between 25 to 30 new restaurants in 2008, up from the 21 forecast to open this year. Executives were on track to open 25 units by the end of the fiscal year, but construction delays have hindered those plans, said David Goronkin, the chain’s president and CEO, during a third-quarter conference call.

Part of the reason for the delays is that the company is now entering larger markets, he says. “The local municipality requests become less predictable,” Goronkin says. “We are working hared to understand this pre-construction process.”

During the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, the company entered a franchise agreement to enter New York City, with a location in Times Square, as well as six more around the metropolis. Additionally, management inked a deal with another franchisee to develop nine new restaurants in Texas and Oklahoma.

At Famous Dave’s 41 company-owned restaurants, same-store sales rose 2.1% year over year, but at its 116 franchise-operated units comparable sales fell 3.5%, due to tough comparisons to last year’s sales, executives say.

Famous Dave’s total revenue was up 3.5%, hitting $31.9 million, while net income was flat at $1.6 million. Year-to-date sales have risen 6.5%, to $94.4 million, while net income has increased to $5 million from $3.9 million.

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