A brand new fast casual Indian restaurant is set to open at Yonge Street and Green Lane this fall.
Bombay Frankies is the brain child of business partners Alex Gerzon and George Heos, owners of Eat Up Canada Inc. The pair first encountered frankies on a trip to Ottawa and knew they had to do something with it.
"A frankie is a handheld burrito-style flat bread wrap. The wrap is called paratha and it's filled with different types of meat or vegetables, and the incredible Indian spices and sauces," Heos said.
It is a common street food in India that was made popular in Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay.
"We got the idea to really create a concept around a frankie and we just didn't think that there was a lot of restaurants in the marketplace that were on the quick serve or fast casual segment of the market," Heos said.
He said there are a lot of Indian restaurants but not many on the fast casual side of things. However, he wouldn't consider Bombay Frankies a fast food restaurant. Heos said the restaurant will have dine-in with about 30 seats but not full table service, however they won't just call out orders from the counter either.
He said this model will give customers "a little bit more of a dining experience than than you would typically find in a fast food."
For the menu, they partnered with Vikrim Vij, an Indian-born Canadian chef, cookbook author and TV personality.
“Frankies have always been dear to my heart because they bring me back to the streets of India, its culture and deep-rooted food history. Namaste and enjoy,” said Vij.
When it came to choosing the first location for Bombay Frankies, they settled on the East Gwillimbury/Newmarket area, which is familiar to Heos. He lived in Aurora and Newmarket for about 30 years and is very familiar with the area. He also said the plaza is a great area for business.
"I know how busy that area is and we felt it was a good first location. It's a very high-quality shopping centre with anchors like Lowe's, Longo's, and the Beer Store and LCBO, so it's very high-quality tenant mix, which is something that we will look for as we develop a brand," he said.
Despite Heos and Gerzon just being introduced to frankies for the first time while they were out of town, Heos said they see it as "an exciting opportunity" to bring the food item to the area. He said Canada is a nation of immigrants and we really embrace our differences, especially when it comes to food.
The new restaurant is set to open in September and Heos said he hopes it is the first of many, as they want to franchise.
"My business partner and I have been in the restaurant industry collectively over 50 years with some of the largest franchise brands in Canada. So we've invested a substantial amount of money on menu development and branding and systems so that we can take this and be able to to franchise it successfully," he said. "The most successful road through is through franchising."
Heos said they plan to have 100 locations in the next 10 years and some are already in the works, with three to five expected to open in the first year.