Huddle House, a 24-hour diner that opened off Interstate 78 near Frystown.
Huddle House, an Atlanta-based restaurant chain, has opened its second location in Pennsylvania in Berks County.
More specifically, the 24-hour diner chose a location near Frystown at 2210 Camp Swatara Road, Bethel Township.
The location is part of a partnership with Pilot Flying J, a fuel and restaurant business with headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn. It is the first of a number of locations the restaurant chain has agreed to open with Pilot throughout the United States.
Jeremy Lee, field marketing manager with Huddle House, said Pilot brought the business to Berks. It opened May 21.
Gary Price, vice president of food service at Pilot Flying J, said the location was originally an All American Plaza that Pilot purchased and renovated.
The area's high diesel traffic in and out of New York City is what drew the business to Bethel Township, he said.
Pilot lists the station, at Interstate 78 and Route 645, as one of its new locations with parking spaces, showers, diesel lanes and other amenities, including Huddle House.
A Pilot station offers a range of things a traveling motorist could want, from food to electronics to a lounge and laundry services for the profession drivers, Price said.
Lee said they hope to attract not only interstate traffic, but also members of the community.
The restaurant offers country favorites, including fried pickles, and customers can get breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the day, Lee said.
The new location has a big-rig menu, which caters to the trucking audience, bringing drivers popular menu items in larger portions, he said.
A typical Huddle House location employs between 25 and 30 people, Lee said. A training crew also is on staff in Frystown for the opening.
The diner seats about 90, he said.
Mark Whittle, chief development officer of the more than 400-store chain, said the company has been focusing on truck stops.
"The brand fits it very well in that environment from a demographic standpoint, (providing) quality Americana-type food," Whittle said.
Huddle House was remodeled in 2011. Whittle said prior to the remodel the customer base typically skewed to older, male customers. Since the remodel, the brand is trying to bring in more young people, families and larger groups.
In Frystown, Whittle agreed he sees the potential to not only appeal to truck drivers by being near frequently traveled roads, but also to people in the surrounding area.
The restaurants tend to be in rural areas with populations of less than 12,000, Whittle said, although he sees possibility for growth into more urban areas in the future.
He said Huddle House's competition is IHOP, Denny's, Country Kitchen, Perkins Restaurant & Bakery and Bob Evans, depending on the market.
The chain plans to open another two to four locations in Pennsylvania within the next 12 months, likely in the western part of the state and likely to be franchises, Whittle said.
A majority of the company's locations are franchises. Of its roughly 400 restaurants, Whittle said, about 16 are company-owned and 382 are franchise-owned.