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Famous Toastery to cut ribbon on New York location this summer

April 18, 2018

Written by: Anthony Noto

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Famous Toastery, a rapidly growing breakfast and lunch chain, is preparing to open its first location in New York.

A new 3,700-square-foot restaurant is expected to have its grand opening this summer in Long Island.

Even though the company was launched in North Carolina, the current expansion plan signifies a homecoming for its founders — Robert Maynard and Brian Burchill.

“We’re super excited,” Maynard told me. “It’s the hometown boys coming back.”

Maynard and Burchill are both native New Yorkers. Burchill’s experience spans 15 different N.Y.C. restaurants, including E.A.T. under the tutelage of New York food guru Eli Zabar.

Eventually, he asked Maynard to partner with him on a restaurant deal down South.

“I said he was out of his beeping mind,” said Maynard, who had a career on Wall Street. Still, Burchill persisted and sent him a roundtrip ticket to Huntersville, North Carolina.

They ended up purchasing the location and, in 2005, turned it into a gourmet breakfast spot called Toast Cafe. The business eventually changed its moniker to Famous Toastery and evolved into a franchise system by 2013.

Today, it has 28 restaurants. Twelve of those locations are in the Charlotte market, with the rest sprinkled across South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Colorado.

“At some point it all started to take off and I put all my efforts into this,” Maynard said, adding that additional sites are under development, with New York being the latest.

After a brief delay due to attaining Suffolk County regulations and permits, Maynard says it’s “full steam ahead.” The Long Island location is expected to be in the Mayfair Shopping Center, with lots of parking and outdoor seating.

But don’t expect average, fast-paced breakfast fare. All products — whether they’re omelets, flapjacks, sandwiches, salads and burgers — include fresh and organic ingredients. Its signature banana and peanut butter stuffed French toast is made-from-scratch.

Also, Famous Toastery has a no-fryer/no-heat-lamp policy, especially when it comes to the thick-cut black label bacon.

“You don’t put that in a fryer,” Maynard explained. “We don’t open a can and make corn beef hash. We roast it for four hours.”

Places like this are common in Charlotte, making it an especially competitive market. That’s less so in Long Island, where there’s no shortage of New York-style burger joints and pizzerias.

“There’s not a lot of better breakfast joints,” he said. “They’re slowly going away and no one’s filling the void.”

That could all change come June, which is when New York’s first Famous Toastery is expected to officially open.

“We really like Long Island mainly because we know it,” Maynard said. “It’s super exciting to go back to a place where, 25 years ago, I used to rise my bike in an area where once there were no houses.”