Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

'Make-Your-Own' Eatery Coney Beach Opens in Tulsa

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

'Make-Your-Own' Eatery Coney Beach Opens in Tulsa

Article excerpt

Not only can you get chili on your hot dog, you can get corned beef on your burger. You can even get it with cucumber relish, pastrami and Cheez Whiz, if that suits your palette.

Tulsans David and Camille Rutkauskas on Monday opened the first unit of their newest franchise system, Coney Beach, at 111th Street and S. Memorial Avenue. The coastal-themed fast-casual chain offers customers 300 ways to fix an all-beef hot dog or Black Angus burger. The franchisors of Camille's Sidewalk Cafe, which now stands at 108 units, said Coney Beach would satisfy a demand for high-quality burgers and hot dogs not now available.

"This is a joint, but it's an upscale joint," said David Rutkauskas.

The menu includes a nod to Tulsa alongside its New York, Coney Beach and Chicago-style dogs: There's a Cherry Street dog (ketchup or mustard, mayonnaise, bacon, grilled onions and peppers), a Riverside dog (mustard, salsa, barbecue sauce, coleslaw, pickle relish and onions), and a Midtown dog (mustard, coleslaw and chili).

"It's a great concept," said Tulsa resident Chris Hines, who tried a basic burger and fries. "I'd come back for lunch."

Hines' wife, Marilou, said she would come back to Coney Beach and would bring her grandchildren.

"It was good," she said. "We'd definitely add it to our list."

The '70s beach-feel franchise is designed for strip centers, with end cap and inline layouts of 1,500-3,000 square feet that seat 60- 120. The site criterion is a daytime population of at least 10,000 within one mile and a minimum density of 50,000-70,000 in a 3-5 mile radius.

David Rutkauskas said he expects to open 12-15 Coney Beach units this year, having sold 20 restaurants in Chicago, Omaha, Kansas City, St. Louis, Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Dallas, Houston, Little Rock, Atlanta and Birmingham, Ala., to 14 franchisees. Another 10 potential franchisees were waiting until the first unit opened so they could sample the food, and Rutkauskas said there are 300 potential units in the pipeline. The Coney Beach development plan calls for nearly 200 units to be open by the end of 2010. During the second half of July, Rutkauskas has meetings with potential franchisees scheduled about every other day. …

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