After a three-year hiatus as an off-campus dining option, Charleys Philly Steaks celebrated the grand opening of its new university location at High Street on Tuesday.
The first-ever Charleys Philly Steaks location was founded on Ohio State’s campus in 1986 by Charley Shin while he was a student at Ohio State.The new location stays true to the foundation that Shin set in place, while also incorporating more modern aspects.
“This is a new concept for Charleys,” David Kusz, director of marketing, said. “It has a new menu to include chicken wings and chicken tenders, in addition to our grilled-to-order Philly cheesesteaks, lemonades and fries.”
Kusz said the menu expansion is expected to be a hit among college students, especially with the increase in food-delivery couriers.
Charleys has also embraced a change in design with its new campus establishment.
“The restaurant also has a new look. It’s kind of a combination between warehouse and farmhouse style,” Kusz said. “We have industrial elements like the brick wall and the exposed ductwork, combined with softer finishes like the wood surfaces.”
This is the fourth location to incorporate the new menu and the new interior style, preceded by locations in Florida and Lancaster, Ohio.
The changes in the menu and design accompany an overall change to the company’s brand. Charleys has traditionally been based in airports and the food courts of shopping malls, with locations in 600 locations in 17 countries and 46 states, Allison Short, marketing and public relations manager, said.
“This concept is something where we’ve always relied on captive audiences from mall imports,” Short said. “So in this case, marketing and public relations really make a difference in getting the word out.”
Short said the expansion from food courts to strip locations such as the one on campus, and even free-standing locations, promises growth and development for the enterprise as a whole.
“This is our roots,” Short said. “Charley was a student at Ohio State when he developed the concept, and he perfected it. This feels like home, we’ve been gone for almost three years and it feels right to be back on campus. We’ve received a very warm welcome.”
As of Tuesday, the new campus location of Charleys Philly Steaks is open for business.
Charleys will also be hosting a “Philly Frenzy” to bring more student interest to the new location on Feb. 2. There will be raffles, prizes and free food for the first 50 students through the door.