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Milan Patel says a new Pita Pit -- a Canadian quick service wrap shop -- will open later this month in the old Inkredible Cartridges storefront near Buffalo Wild Wings and Little Caesers in Cleveland, Tenn.

Patel is the owner of Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt and thinks the growing Paul Huff Parkway area is a good fit for the new-to-the-region Pita Pit franchise.

"People keep asking me what it is," he said.

Pita Pit started as a single restaurant in Kingston, Canada, in 1995 and has since expanded to include over 500 stores worldwide.

A group of investors introduced Pita Pit to the United States in 2005, and there are currently over 250 Pita Pit shops in America alone.

Nashville and Murfreesboro have Pita Pit shops, but Cleveland will beat Chattanooga, Knoxville and Atlanta to the Pita Pit punch.

Patel said his experience in quick-service retail led him to believe something like Pita Pit would work, and he points to Subway and Blimpie's success as market indicators.

"There's a sandwich shop on every corner," he said. "Because people love sandwiches."

But he wanted to bring something different to town, and he found Pita Pit: an option that's "healthier than sandwiches" with "an upbeat interior."

So he nabbed the spot vacated by Inkredible, knowing from experience that it's a heavily trafficked area.

"I just loved the location already, so I just kind of found this while looking for other things," he said.

At the same time, Patel is preparing to unveil a new Tex-Mex restaurant, Dos Bros, near Target on the other side of Paul Huff Parkway.

"We're kind of doing these projects at the same time," he said.

He and a business partner are going in on Dos Bros together. The restaurant will be similar to Moe's Southwest Grill and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Patel said Cleveland made good business sense for Dos Bros because Chattanooga already has a mix of quick-service Mexican and Tex-Mex options, with Moe's and Mojo Burrito.

Dos Bros will require more work and time, said Patel, and he hopes for an opening date in late April.

The two ventures combined represent a roughly $750,000 investment, and Patel said "we're going to need lots of employees."

He said at both Dos Bros and Pita Pit, the aim is to provide restaurants where customers can "get a good meal and a drink for under $10."

"I want to bring something to an area where there's not already one," he said.

Contact staff writer Alex Green at agreen@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6480.

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