The Mohegan Tribe is branching out into Rhode Island.
The Connecticut-based tribe is opening a new location of the Smashburger franchise in an outlet in Warwick. It will be the state's first Smashburger.
In 2014, the tribe entered a franchise agreement with the popular burger chain that originated in Denver. The tribe pledged to open up to 16 locations across Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Smashburger has 340 total locations across the U.S.
Rhode Island's Smashburger will feature dining room seating for 65 guests, including patio seating, in a 2,020 square-foot space, reported providencejournal.com. The restaurant is located in the same plaza as Trader Joe's grocery store.
Mohegan Holding, LLC, a company owned and operated by the Mohegan Tribe, and operator of the Mohegan Sun, will franchise the Warwick restaurant.
Smashburger is known for its handcrafted burgers— "made with fresh, not frozen, Angus beef that is 'smashed' on a 400-degree flat grill" — and for its locavore approach, offering unique, local flavors at different locations.
Smashburger is collaborating with partner Backyard Food Company to perfect its Rhode Island Burger — complete with Rhode Island Red Relish. Backyard Food Company is owned and operated by Warwick residents and friends Matthew McClelland and Louby Sukkar. The pair started Backyard Food in 2014, making red-pepper relish, apple butter and candied jalapeños from fruit and vegetables grown naturally on South County farms.
Smashburger is also known for its hand-spun milkshakes, root-beer floats and fries. It additionally serves sandwiches and salads as well as alcoholic beverages including wine and beer (the Rhode Island location will sell local beer from Grey Sail Brewing of Westerly).