Philadelphia-grown Chickie’s & Pete’s Crab House and Sports Bar can be found in casinos, boardwalks and airports across the country, but its latest location is uncharted territory for the brand: A college town.
The Bensalem, Pa.-based restaurant chain has signed a lease to be the anchor tenant at 220 Rowan Blvd., a $74 million, six-story, 316-000-square-foot building in Glassboro, N.J.
The development – located a short distance from Rowan University’s campus – houses about 550 students and more than 50 apartment residents.
It will be the first time a location will open in a school area, owner and CEO Pete Ciarrocchi said.
“There’s a boom there,” he told the Business Journal. “I wasn’t familiar with the city, but when I went there … everybody was so friendly and into Chickie’s & Pete’s and our products. There’s nothing there that said sports and shellfish. There was a void in that area.”
The addition of Chickie’s & Pete’s would help make Glassboro “a destination for sports fans everywhere,” George Cossabone, Glassboro council president, said in a statement.
Compile that with Rowan University, which has seen substantial growth in recent years, and you have the perfect combination, Ciarrocchi said.
The 7,000-square-foot Chickie’s & Pete’s location at 220 Rowan Blvd. will be the company’s 15th standalone restaurant overall and fourth in New Jersey.
Construction is set to begin in the first quarter of 2016 with a tentative opening date later this summer.
Chickie’s & Pete’s will join Philadelphia favorite Tony Luke’s, as well as Cooper Health Systems and South Jersey Federal Credit Union, on the ground floor of the development.
220 Rowan Blvd. has about 20,000 square feet of retail space and a 27,000-square-foot urgent care medical facility operated by Inspira, and was developed by Nexus Properties of Lawrenceville, N.J.
Chickie’s & Pete’s was founded in 1977 with one location in the Mayfair neighborhood of Philadelphia.
The company added craft beer to its offerings about two years ago and raw bars more than a year ago, Ciarrocchi said.