ALHAMBRA, Calif. — Shakey's USA has signed an area agreement with restaurant veteran Bert Hunter for three new stores in eastern Alabama and western Georgia, the company announced.
While Hunter's restaurants will adhere to the overall look and design of Shakey's Pizza Parlors – incorporating the same brand identity, color palette, logo and menu offerings – Hunter plans to incorporate the Shakey's memorabilia he's collected over the years to create a museum-like environment.
Already in Hunter's possession are six banjos played in Shakey's restaurants, including one played by a member of the singing group The Andrews Sisters. He has also collected original Shakey's straw hats, pin-stripped waiter's jackets, a marketing handbook from 1966, vintage menus, old reel-to-reel radio commercials, print ads and outdoor signage.
Hunter's biggest find was an original Shakey's player piano from the early 1960s.
The first of the three restaurants to be completed will be in Auburn, Ala., slated to open this fall. Hunter has appointed Richard Coopetillo director of operations for the Auburn Shakey's.
Coopetillo is also Hunter's partner in his Shakey's Pizza Parlor franchise.
Hunter's experience in the restaurant business spans more than 30 years, having been employed for eight of those years by RTM, at that time the largest Arby's franchisee. Hunter currently owns and operates six Arby's franchises in Eastern Alabama and Western Georgia.