Newk’s Eatery is finally open in Butler Plaza, after nearly 2 years of delays. Today’s grand opening featured a ribbon cutting with brief speeches by local and corporate representatives. Grand Opening Week will continue with free kids’ meals tomorrow and a free cup of soup (with the purchase of an entree) this Sunday.
David Eidson, the General Manager of the Gainesville location, said, “We have waited 18 long months to be here… What separates Newk’s from everybody else is three really interesting concepts. First of all, fresh, wholesome, fresh-cut ingredients that we do every day… The second thing is guest service… we’re really warm and welcoming, we’re gonna create a family environment. Not only for the guests, but also for the team, because they’re integral in making this work… the third thing is to have a sparkling-clean restaurant. So every time you come, that’s what our goal is. That’s what separates us and distinguishes us from everybody else.”
Newk’s Marketing Manager Lisa Taylor addressed the persistent rumors that the mob was involved in the delayed opening: “I just want to clarify one point here: the mob is not involved. No matter what you’ve heard… everybody’s been asking this question, and I see the comments on Facebook. So I just want to squash the rumors… we just really had a situation where we were trying to partner with a franchisee here, and unfortunately it didn’t work out. We knew that we wanted to be a part of this community… so we decided to come in and take over and take ownership. Quite frankly, it’s the best thing that could have possibly happened because you’re going to get the best of the best here.”
Newk’s was founded in 2004 by Don Newcomb, Debra Bryson, and Chris Newcomb, the team that founded McAlister’s Deli. The original location was in Oxford, MS. The recipes are based on Newcomb family recipes, and the menu includes salads, sandwiches, pizzas, soups, macaroni and cheese, and desserts. They also serve beer, wine, and a variety of soft drinks. The restaurant prominently features a large table with complimentary gourmet condiments, toppings, and breadsticks.