McAlister's Deli opens near Northgate Mall

Photo by Dave Flessner / Workers put the finishing touches on the parking lot outside of the new McAlister's restaurant near Northgate Mall in Hixson. The 4,478-square-foot building was formerly a Panera Bread location and was renovated to accommodate McAlister's design and drive-through window.

McAlister's Deli, which renovated the former Panera Bread location near Northgate Mall after Panera relocated its Hixson store last April, will open the remodeled restaurant on Monday.

Southern Rock Restaurants, one of the largest franchisees of the McAlister's sandwich shop chain, is opening its newest eatery at the Hixson Pike entrance to Northgate Mall at 10:30 a.m. Monday. To mark the grand opening, the first 112 people in line when the new McAlister's opens will be given free tea for a year.

"Over the years, I have frequently traveled through Hixson and just love this community here." David Blackburn, CEO of the Franklin, Tennessee-based Southern Rock Restaurants, said in an announcement of the restaurant opening. "With the success we have had with McAlister's in Chattanooga, I know the Hixson community will welcome us with open arms."