Second BurgerFi restaurant plans to open the downtown Saratoga Springs, New York
Bill Lia Jr. has secured financing for his second BurgerFi franchise through Catskill Hudson Bank and plans to open the downtown Saratoga Springs, New York restaurant this spring.
Lia, who owns Lia Auto Group with his family, operates 20 auto dealerships in three states. The company employs 500 people in the Albany region and generated more than $760 million in revenue in 2014.
Lia and his brothers Michael and Vincent teamed up with the region’s largest caterer and restaurant owner, Angelo Mazzone, last year to open the area’s first BurgerFi franchise. The first location opened in August on New Loudon Road in Latham.
The burger chain, which is headquartered in North Palm Beach, Florida, sells burgers made from Angus beef and has wine and craft beer on the menu. BurgerFi operates 80 franchise and corporate-owned locations in the United States, including six in New York. Nearly two dozen restaurants opened last year.
The Lias’ second BurgerFi franchise will be located at the former site of Saratoga Saddlery & International Boutiques, which moved to a new location on Broadway. Lia purchased 460 Broadway for $1.7 million last year from Mark Straus and Saratoga Historic Restorations LLC.
BurgerFi will operate on the first floor of the three-story building. Offices will be located on the second floor and there will be two apartments on the third floor. Bonacio Construction of Saratoga Springs has been hired to renovate the building. Lia said he expects construction to take about four months, giving him enough time to open the Saratoga franchise well before the start of the summer thoroughbred racing season.
Lia secured a $916,000 loan for the Saratoga property from Catskill Hudson Bank last month. Approximately $360,000 of that money will be used to finance construction costs, according to documents filed with the Saratoga County clerk’s office. The remainder of the money will be used to refinance a previous mortgage.
Lia also is seeking approval in the town of Guilderland for a third BurgerFi franchise. He currently is seeking approvals from the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals for a 3,500-square-foot restaurant. That location is expected to open by late summer or early fall. Lia said he will seek bids from general contractors for the Guilderland site once his approvals are in place.
The Saratoga and Guilderland franchises are each multi-million investments, Lia said.
Last year was a strong year in auto sales, which have come back strong since the recession, Lia said. Lia Auto Group opened a new Nissan dealership in Queensbury last month. The company also acquired a Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram dealership in Northampton, Massachusetts, and replaced lighting and carpeting and made other improvements at its Latham location. (source: http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/morning_call/2016/01/lia-family-will-open-second-burgerfi-restaurant.html )