Server Samantha Valenzuela delivers food Wednesday at Native Grill & Wings. The chain, which just opened its first Tulsa location at 10804 E. 71st., wants to add several more Oklahoma restaurants. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World

 

August 23, 2017 //Tulsa World News // Mike Averill

National and regional restaurant chains interested in Tulsa

Tulsa is a hot spot for national franchise restaurants seeking a growing, younger market.

One of the newest additions to the 71st Street landscape is Native Grill & Wings.

The Arizona-based chain with a menu including more than 20 flavors of wings as well as pizzas, burgers and salads, has more than 30 locations in seven states.

The recently opened location at 10804 E. 71st St. is the company’s first in Oklahoma.

“We like growing areas with lots of families,” said Adriana Espinosa, a company spokeswoman. “We chose Tulsa because it is a growing area.”

She said Tulsa was a “perfect fit” for the company as it looks to grow in the Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas area.

The company hopes to expand in the next couple of years with three to five additional locations in the state.

Coolgreens, a “healthy lifestyle eatery” that features build-your-own salads, wraps, bowls, flatbreads and more is ready to franchise.
The Oklahoma City–based restaurant has six locations in Oklahoma City, Edmond and Norman and a seventh is set to open soon inside the Will Rogers World Airport.

The company would eventually like to enter the Dallas/Fort Worth area, as well as Kansas City, Wichita, Omaha and Denver.

The first step in that plan is moving into the Tulsa market, said Clay Carson, vice president of franchise development at Coolgreens.

The company is working with Buxton Analytics in Fort Worth to create its customer profile and help identify markets that will bring the best results.

“There’s a science to it,” Carson said. “We know our core customer … and you’ve got pockets within bigger markets where you have groups that tend to have a bit of a healthier lifestyle.”

As far as Tulsa as a market, Carson said he sees a lot of similarities between it and Oklahoma City.
“There’s a lot of rejuvenation and a lot of kids who graduate that maybe 10 years ago would have left for Dallas or Chicago because the markets didn’t offer things they are looking for culturally,” he said.
“A lot of good jobs are being created, so a lot of kids are staying home and creating a very cool community.”
Other chains planning to come to Tulsa include Austin-based Torchy’s Taco. It is moving into the Brookside neighborhood in a location that previously held HopBunz. Dunkin’ Donuts has also announced a location in Broken Arrow, as well as plans to bring up to 10 restaurants to the area.
Salta, a Houston-based chain restaurant that features salads and wraps composed of made-from-scratch ingredients, opened one location at Kingspointe Village earlier this year and is in the process of opening two others.
The chain has more than 60 locations in four states.
“I think Tulsa is going to be absolutely a great market for us,” said franchisee Mark Brooker in an earlier Tulsa World story. “Great food and very trendy.”