Yo, Philly transplants — youse guys in the Charlotte region can now sample some hometown fare thanks to Lee’s Hoagie House in Lake Wylie, S.C.
The restaurant just opened Wednesday morning. So people in the Carolinas should get used to saying, “wit’ or wit’out,” as in with or without fried onions on their cheesesteaks.
It’s Lee’s first franchise outside the Philadelphia area, said Jon Waxman, vice president of Lee’s Hoagie House Franchise Group. “You’ll get the same experience, the product will be very consistent,” Waxman said.
Lee’s has been serving up hoagies and cheesesteaks in the Philadelphia area since 1953. The S.C. restaurant is at 312 Bulkhead Way, Suite 101, in Lake Wylie Commons.
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Rick Zioncheck, who owns the franchise with his wife, Patsy, said Lake Wylie was lacking in hoagie and cheesesteak options. “It’s a great sandwich and we wanted to deliver something other than pizzas,” Zioncheck said.
An Asheville location should open in the next 90 days, and Waxman said the owners of both Carolinas stores have expressed interest in having one in Charlotte as well.
The company is just starting nationwide expansion and hopes to eventually have 1,000 franchises.
Gary Occhiogrosso, a franchise development consultant working with Lee’s, said the Charlotte area is a good market for Lee’s, especially with all the former Northeast residents living here.
“When people move, they want to have a connection to home,” he said. “What better way than food.”