Taziki’s marks another restaurant in Hixson

Staff Photo by Dave Flessner /  Rudy Gomez, center, the general manager for the new Taziki's Mediterranean Café in Hixson, cuts the ribbon Monday to mark the opening of the new 2,500-square-foot restaurant in the Shoppes at Hamill complex along Highway 153.
Staff Photo by Dave Flessner / Rudy Gomez, center, the general manager for the new Taziki's Mediterranean Café in Hixson, cuts the ribbon Monday to mark the opening of the new 2,500-square-foot restaurant in the Shoppes at Hamill complex along Highway 153.


Taziki's Mediterranean Café, which has grown its made-to-order Mediterranean cuisine to 95 restaurants across 16 states, celebrated the opening of its lastest unit in Hixson on Monday, and franchise owner Brad Emendorfer said he is eager to take the growing chain next to Dalton.

The Birmingham-based restaurant company started in 1968 after founders Keith and Amy Richards returned from Greece and decided to bring the Greek-style food they enjoyed overseas to the South.

In the Chattanooga area, Emendorfer opened the first local franchise Taziki's in downtown Chattanooga in 2011 and has since added similar area restaurants in East Brainerd and Cleveland. The newest Taziki's opened last month near Highway 153 and Hamill Road on the site of a former California Tortilla, which shut down last year after four years of operation.

Emendorfer is among more than two dozen franchise owners for Taziki's, and the new Hixson eatery is one of 15 new Taziki's that have opened in the past year.

During a ribbon cutting of the new restaurant in the Shoppes at Hamill complex Monday, Tazik's President Dan Simpson said the chain is continuing to expand as the popularity of Mediterranean diets and eating grows.

"We were ahead of our time with the Mediterranean diet and with the healthy eating," Simpson said Monday during an interview. "Before it was cool, we were doing it in the Southeast. I also think we're succeeding because, in a world of mobile ordering where many have given up on hospitality and reducing the human connection, we're staying focused on human connections and conversation."

(READ MORE: Popeyes Louisiana Chicken opens at Highway 153 and Hamill Road)

At 5215 Highway 153, across from Northgate Mall, the Hixson Taziki's is the cafe's 23rd storefront in Tennessee. The new location will operate daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

"Serving the Chattanooga community over the past 13 years has been a truly rewarding experience because of the many relationships we've formed with our wonderful guests and team alike," Emendorfer said.

Rudy Gomez, one of the longest serving workers for Tazika's in Chattanooga, is managing the 25-person staff at the Hixson location.

Emendorfer said he has long wanted to locate in Hixson and the new eatery is already proving to be popular and successful. Most meals run from $12 to $14 each. For seven years in a row, the Mediterranean diet has been ranked best overall diet in the U.S. News & World Report annual rankings.

(READ MORE: New restaurants to open near Northgate Mall)

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6340.


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