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[IMGCAP(1)]DALLAS-With its eye on adding corporate-owned stores in key markets, Lakewood, CO-based Einstein Noah Restaurant Group Inc. has roped off three more locations for Einstein Bros. Bagels’ shops as it scouts for up to five more in Dallas/Fort Worth. Meanwhile the bagel chain’s first franchisee in Texas is on the prowl for five sites.

“This is an aggressive expansion we’re experiencing,” Kelly Hampton, senior vice president of Dallas-based Venture Commercial Real Estate LLC, tells GlobeSt.com. “We’re being very selective–high-profile trade areas and high-profile intersections.” And, he labels it as the biggest push since the bagel wars of 1999 and 2000. Einstein Bros.’ triple play bumps its total to 18 locations in Dallas/Fort Worth.

Meanwhile, Junaid Akbar, president of Twins S&Z and a Dunkin’ Donut franchisee in Florida, has secured Einstein Bros.’ rights to Collin and Grayson counties in North Texas. All corporate and franchise stores are slated to roll out in the next two years, according to Hampton.

[IMGCAP(2)]Hampton says Einstein’s new stores will be 3,200 sf, all secured by 10-year leases and sporting drive-through windows. Opening by year’s end is an end-cap shop in the 235,000-sf Preston Lebanon Crossing at 9200 Lebanon Rd. in Frisco. The under-construction 7,000-sf building will be shared by Mooyah Burgers & Fries.

In late November, Einstein’s will cut the ribbon at 3220 E. Hebron Pkwy., a 14,500-sf unnamed strip center at the corner of Park Boulevard and Midway Road in Carrollton. And, the third lease is waiting a final signature, but it will add a bagel shop to a center at Belt Line Road and Interstate 635 in Irving’s Las Colinas.

“Einstein’s is opening in select big markets in the country. Dallas/Fort Worth is one of our best DNAs in the company,” Hampton asserts. “It’s one of our best markets.”

Einstein Noah set its expansion plan in motion last year, adding 13 locations for Einstein Bros. Bagels, Noah’s on the West Coast and Manhattan Bagel on the East Coast. Einstein’s 33-state territory, with 472 shops, accounts for 80% of the company’s revenue. To date this year, the parent has opened six locations, has four more under construction, seven signed leases and two more under negotiation, according to its latest earnings report. The North Texas franchisee is only one of six, but the expansion plan is aimed at adding more to that category along with additional corporate stores.

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