Long John Silver's » Exclusive: Long John Silver’s unveils its new flagship restaurant in Louisville

Exclusive: Long John Silver's unveils its new flagship restaurant in Louisville

With digital menu boards, a garage door to bring the outside air in and work by local artists, Long John Silver's is about to unveil its new flagship store to the public, which comes with a completely new look.

The restaurant, at 2901 Goose Creek Road, just off of Westport Road, won't officially open until Tuesday, but Louisville Business First stopped by this morning for a sneak peek of the new concept. Check out photographer Chris Fryer's attached slideshow of the new store.

"This is our first new Long John Silver's in more than 10 years," said Leigh Ann VanDam, senior director of development in real estate for LJS. "We want to still serve our loyal fan base, and I think of this as a nod and a wink as a thank you for remaining loyal. We also are looking to introduce new generations to the brand."

She said this new concept store is also an effort to revamp the brand and bring in those new customers. The launch of the flagship concept comes at the same time that Louisville-based Long John Silver's is adding a grilled platform to its menu — which includes grilled salmon, grilled shrimp, rice bowls, soft serve ice cream and more.

Long John Silver's declined to say how much the company invested into building the new concept.

The flagship store is decorated with both local and nautical touches. The longitude and latitude of the restaurant are painted on the inside of a light fixture and on a mural outside — which was painted by Louisville muralist Bryan Patrick Todd.

The ordering counter is set up underneath a wooden art installation that features oars, which was made by Louisville-based custom design company Rockerbuilt.

"Each new location will have little details sprinkled throughout that will indicate where you are," VanDam said.

One of the store's walls features plaques and art that is an homage to its sustainable fishing practices.

"The storyboard art — it’s to help America understand the journey as well. Not just our brand journey, but the journey of ocean to table," VanDam said. "We were sustainable before sustainable was cool. We’ve been naturally catching and processing our fish from the Bering (Strait) off the coast of Alaska. One of the intents with this new design was to emulate that."

She said that the updated flagship is another way to attract new franchisees and to show existing franchisees what they can do to improve their stores.

"This is the first of this concept that we plan on developing across the country with our franchise partners," VanDam said. "There are many franchisees and company stores that will need to grow using this concept to achieve further success."

CEO James O'Reilly said last year that the ideal franchise percentage for Long John Silver's is between 90 and 95 percent. Long John Silver’s has nearly 1,000 franchised restaurants nationwide.

The company is working to build the second new concept store in Kenosha, Wis. It is a ground-up build, about 1,600 square feet big, and it will open early this summer.

The Goose Creek store, which employs 30 and will ramp up to 50 in the coming weeks, will open to the public Tuesday, after a soft opening for friends and family over the weekend.

About Long John Silver’s: Long John Silver’s is a classic American brand founded in 1969, and stands today as the nation’s largest quick-service seafood chain with nearly 1,000 franchised restaurants nation-wide. Long John Silver’s is famous for its pure, wild-caught Alaskan whitefish hand-dipped in their signature batter and lightly fried to golden perfection. Learn more at www.ljsilvers.com or join the conversation via social media on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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About Long John Silver’s: Long John Silver’s is a classic American brand founded in 1969, and stands today as the nation’s largest quick-service seafood chain with nearly 1,000 franchised restaurants nation-wide. Long John Silver’s is famous for its pure, wild-caught Alaskan whitefish hand-dipped in their signature batter and lightly fried to golden perfection. Learn more at www.ljsilvers.com or join the conversation via social media on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.