A popular eatery that serves up a variety of pizzas, sandwiches, soups, salads, mac and cheese and desserts that include chocolate and caramel cakes is entering the Columbus market.
Jackson, Miss.-based Newk’s Eatery is “coming soon” to 5295 Whittlesey Blvd., according to its website, which is in the Columbus Park Crossing shopping and dining development on the city’s north side.
The Newk’s location is in a small strip center that already includes Chipotle Mexican Grill, Panda Express, Tips N Toes Nail Salon, Total Nutrition and E-Tech. It’s the same area of Columbus Park Crossing that also features Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Zoe’s Kitchen, Willy’s Mexicana Grill, Arby’s and Longhorn Steakhouse.
The Newk’s menu includes a variety of pizzas, including Newk’s Q, Grilled Chicken Summer Squash, Bleu Hawaiian, Mediterranean, Spicy Shrimp, Veggie, and Sausage & Pepperoni.
Sandwiches include steak and chimichurri, choice roast beef, turkey avocado, pimiento cheese, smoked ham, grilled steak, Italian, club, pesto chicken, shrimp po’boy and chicken salad.
Soups range from Five Bean Chili, Pepperjack Crawfish, Pulled Corn & Pork Chowder and Spinach and Feta to Lobster and Crab Bisque, Loaded Potato, Chicken Tortilla and Tomato Basil.
There are several salads, with toppings that include grilled salmon, ahi tuna, grilled chicken greek-style, shrimp remoulade and chicken salad. The mac and cheese offerings are five cheese and six cheese pimiento with bacon.
Homemade desserts feature several flavors of cakes — chocolate, iced lemon, caramel and strawberry — as well as lemon whoopie pie, brownies and peanut butter krispy.
The closest current locations for Newk’s is in Auburn and Opelika, Ala., and in Newnan, Ga. An employee at the Gay Street location in Auburn confirmed Saturday the Columbus location is “coming soon,” but did not have a specific timeline for its opening.
Newk’s has more than 100 locations in more than a dozen states, mostly across the Southeast. It was founded in 2004 as Newk’s Express Cafe by father and son chefs Don and Chris Newcomb, then rebranded to Newk’s Eatery in 2013.
Sentinel Capital Partners, a private equity firm, bought the chain in 2014. The Newcombs also previously founded and sold the McAlister’s Deli chain, with its Columbus location on Veterans Parkway across from Lowe’s Home Improvement.
Newk’s has been looking to enter the Columbus market for several years. At one point, it was positioned to do so in a strip shopping center that was proposed adjacent to the Waffle House and McAlister’s Deli on Veterans Parkway. Aside from Newk’s Cafe, that property also was to be home to other eateries, including Huey Luey's, Cheeseburger Bobby's and Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint. The land where the center was to be built remains vacant.