Corlex Capital Believes ‘This is It’ Really Is
The Anthony family founded This is It 35 years ago and the Southern-style chain is now franchising.
The year-old Corlex Capital is taking its second brand to the franchise market: This is It Southern Kitchen & BBQ, an Atlanta-based Southern home-style restaurant chain founded 35 years ago by the Anthony family and now with 11 restaurants in Georgia and two franchise deals signed.
NBA star Paul Millsap is one of those franchisees, and celebrity chef Pat Neely is a food consultant for the brand.
Tamala Fowler, formerly with Gigi’s Cupcakes and Dickey’s Barbecue, which hit 550-plus stores before she left as development director, said her experience at Dickey’s will translate well at This is It, especially since both brands are family owned.
One of the hardest questions she’s had to answer, Fowler said, is: What is your competition? “We struggled with the answer. Now I say—your grandma,” she said, noting a robust catering business. The restaurants do $2 million in average unit volume and will require a $650,000 to $900,000 investment.
“Mr. Anthony himself is iconic,” said Corlex partner Jeffrey Kolton, referring to the family’s patriarch. “You’ve just got to love the guy.”
Corlex partners Kolton and J.B. Bedasse said their first deal, a planned franchise of celebrity chef Ivan Orkin and his ramen shops, has not yet rolled out despite more than a year of work. “It’s a process,” Bedasse said in an interview at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference last week in Las Vegas.