Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes and Fries, a North Carolina-based chain of 1950s-style diners, plans to expand in Louisiana and is eyeing a potential site near LSU as its first restaurant in the state.

Jason Hall, who has three Hwy 55 restaurants in North and South Carolina and is set to open a fourth next month, said he is looking at spots along Nicholson Drive, near Alex Box Stadium, as a site for the restaurant. “If we get our name out around the campus, that will give us brand exposure with people across Louisiana,” he said. Hall wants to open 50 Hwy 55 restaurants over 10 years across Louisiana, in cities such as Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Houma and Hammond.

“We hope to have one or two locations open in the state by the end of this year,” said Hall, who was driving across Louisiana this week, checking out potential restaurant sites.

Hwy 55 has 120 restaurants across 10 states, stretching from Ohio to Florida and going as far west as Texas and Arkansas.

While a host of hamburger restaurants have opened across Baton Rouge over the past few years, Hall said Hwy 55 stands out in a number of ways: the quality of the food, the diverse menu, which includes dishes such as shrimp po-boys and hand-cut chicken tenders, the attentive service and the price. A standard meal of a 5½-ounce hamburger, an order of fries and a soft drink costs $7.49.

The size of Hwy 55 restaurants range between 2,000 to 3,500 square feet, Hall said. Each restaurant has about 35 employees.

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