Potbelly Sandwich Shop announced a signed agreement that will soon bring Arkansas its first shop.

Currently slated to open this summer, the shop is in development at Little Rock’s Park Avenue shopping center at 314 S. University Avenue.

Ryan Hamra, the new sandwich shop’s operating partner, is a Little Rock native and the operator of North Little Rock’s Blue Coast Burrito. Hamra will open the shop with his business partner, Mark Needler. 

“Potbelly makes my favorite sandwiches in the world, I can eat them all day, so it’s a real pleasure that I get to bring the sandwich shop to Little Rock,” Hamra says. “I grew up in Little Rock working at my parents’ Wendy’s restaurants since I was 12. Now, I can continue my family’s entrepreneurial legacy by sharing food I love with the community.”

Little Rock’s first Potbelly Sandwich Shop will hire about 30 staff members, including customer service and managers. The restaurant’s operation and delivery hours will be announced at a later date.

“Ryan, Mark and their team are an ideal addition to the Potbelly family. We are thrilled with their excitement for the shop,” says Mike Walters, head of franchise development for Potbelly. “Every new sandwich shop is designed to resemble the community it resides in. Ryan and Mark have the deep-rooted community connections Potbelly looks for when choosing  franchise partners.” 

Denise Lee Yohn: QSR's Marketing Guru, Fast Casual, Growth, News, Sandwiches, Potbelly