NASCAR Brian France behind the opening of Summerbird in Charlotte

Summerbird's dining room facing South Tryon Street plays a summertime role in Charlotte's South End's new casual restaurant.

Summerbird’s dining room facing South Tryon Street plays a summertime role in Charlotte’s South End’s new casual restaurant.

alslitz@charlotteobserver.com

The former NASCAR CEO is speeding up a chicken sandwich contest in his hometown of Bojangles with a Summerbird debut in Charlotte.

Brian France and his investment company Silver Falcon Capital Behind the newest casual restaurant that opened Monday in the South End at 1422 S. The Real Yard.

Summerbird France and managing partner Austin Tate hope for Wednesday’s Charlotte Observer newspaper an exclusive: It hopes to win the competition by combining a menu of “delicious” fried chicken sandwiches and “healthy” salads.

In Charlotte, the field of chicken sandwiches is narrow. Along with popular chicken and biscuit chain Bojangles, new arrivals Slim Chickens, Dave’s Hot Chicken and Harolds Chicken and Ice Bar Join others like Chick-fil-A who is expanding in the area.

“There are a lot of chicken places out there. A lot of salad places out there. Our big focus in this was trying to marry the two of them,” Tate said.

But Summerbird plans to go beyond the list, and build fans by creating a fast-paced, “high” casual experience, France said.

“There will be someone going to your table to ask if we can bring you something else and not just to ask you how your food was,” he said.

In keeping with the summer theme, Summerbird has an indoor swing set, some patio swing seats and decorative gestures like a diving board that have been repurposed as shelves for takeout orders.

“We wanted a place that felt like you were having a backyard barbecue with your friends, it was so nostalgia and the good old days of summer,” Tate said.

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Hammocks and benches sit along South Tryon Street in Summerbird, and a casual quick chicken sandwich and salad eatery at RailYard in the South End. Alex Slitz alslitz@charlotteobserver.com

What to expect in Summerbird

Summerbird’s menu includes classic Southern fried chicken sandwiches and modern salads with mixed vegetables.

there Four types. They include Summerbird, which is a crispy chicken sandwich with pickles and backyard sauce on a brioche bun, and Sweet Carolina with sweet pepper cheese, pepper jelly, pickled red onions and backyard sauce.

The other two sandwiches are the caliber, grilled chicken with avocado ranch, and the firebird, chili chicken with chipotle mayonnaise.

There are also four salads with mixed greens like Sun-Kissed Kale drizzled with citrus dressing.

Complementing the menu are two snacks (pimento cheese and French crackers and chips) and sides of homemade pasta, cheese, and squash to a roasted vegetable salad and South Street corn.

For dessert, there are milkshakes, floats, fluffy ice cream, chocolate chips or sugar cookies.

Tate said the restaurant has about 2,900 square feet of space with seating for 70, plus a rolling garage door to a patio that seats about 30. Lots of greenery inside and out give it a backyard atmosphere.

Summerbird expects to employ up to 40 full-time and part-time employees.

Hours of operation will be 11am to 10pm from Sunday to Thursday and from 11am to 11pm from Friday to Saturday.

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The Sun-Kissed Kale Salad with kale, Baltic sprouts, radish, Parmesan, lemon peel, and citrus dressing is one of four salads on Summerbird’s menu in the South End. Summerbird

Plan for more Summerbirds

Summerbird is the first restaurant operated by Silver Falcon Capital. However, the Charlotte-based company does team up with several other restaurants in California and Florida.

France and Tate are already making plans to expand within city limits and across the country. Tate said negotiations for more sites are already underway along Interstate 85 in the Charlotte area.

“We will have two more stores in the next 12 to 18 months here in Charlotte,” France said. “We are just getting started.”

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Summerbird’s dining room plays up the feel of summer with greenery for a backyard atmosphere. Alex Slitz alslitz@charlotteobserver.com

About Brian FranM and Silver Falcon Capital

France founded Silver Falcon Capital Investment Company after leaving the family business NASCAR, which was co-founded by Grandfather Bill France Sr. and Uncle Jim France in 1948.

Brian France followed his father, Bill France Jr., as CEO from 2003 until 2018, when he was publicly expelled.

Brian France is credited with spearheading the transformation of NASCAR as a regional sport into a multi-billion dollar global sports entertainment powerhouse.

The French investment firm helps entrepreneurs, including four restaurants in Florida and California, as well as sports companies Motorsport Games and ISC.

France said it has found similarities between operating a restaurant and running NASCAR, including facing competition.

France said, “Bringing all this home to the people, entertaining them, pleasing them, is all relatively the same thing.”

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Merchandise and travel bags rest on racks made of diving boards at Summerbird at RailYard in the South End. Alex Slitz alslitz@charlotteobserver.com

Chicken sandwich competition

Summerbird’s competition comes from other Charlotte-area chicken sandwich chains in the Bojangles home region.

In March, Arkansas-based Slim Chickens first appeared in North Carolina Charlotte’s first store opened in the University City area. The casual fast chain plans to open 14 more locations in North Carolina and South Carolina, including the Indian Trail and Concord.

West Coast Dave’s Spicy Chicken Plans to open 12 casual fast-paced franchise locations in Charlotte.

Founded in Charlotte in 1977, Bojangles has also expanded with a dedicated vehicle-only location on the 3809 E. Independence Blvd. And another store at 300 West Ave. , The Charlotte Observer previously reported. Chicken and biscuit series It has also opened or plans to open approximately 130 stores with debuts in Ohio, New York, Texas, Illinois and Arkansas over the past two years. In addition, the Bojangles 40 . expansion includes Restaurant opening at Love’s Travel Stops.

Chick-fil-A recently opened the new Gaston District in Gastonia on Cox Road after the Franklin Square Store closed. Last July, a store was opened in Belmont At 925 South Point Road and in October, Chick-fil-A . has opened Shop at 7404 Matthews Mint Hill Road in Mint Hill. The Atlanta fast food chain has also reopened its doors East Woodlawn Street renovated As a drive-through location only.

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Catherine Mochegrosso is a retail business reporter for the Charlotte Observer. An award-winning journalist, she has worked for several newspapers and McClatchy for over a decade.

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