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BJ's Restaurants co-founders open new dining concept

STACKED is touted as a 'fast-casual-plus' eatery, complete with iPads.

By Kristen SchottPublished: February 16, 2011 10:13 AM

Huntington Beach-based BJ's Restaurants Inc. Co-Founders Paul Motenko and Jerry Hennessy are launching a new "fast-casual-plus" dining concept – this time with iPads.

When the first STACKED: food well built opens in May in Torrance, diners will be able to design their own meals using tableside Apple iPads, starting from the plate up. The use of the iPad enables the eatery to offer more upscale food options and better service than typical fast-casual eateries, according to the restaurant.

"STACKED defies existing categories and will elevate fast-casual dining to a new experience that we are calling ‘fast-casual PLUS,’” said Motenko of the new Irvine-based concept.

Diners can choose from a range of signature items, including a smoked-salmon-topped pizza with a blend of cheeses, among other ingredients, or a burger with fried egg, Swiss cheese, bacon and sundried tomato aioli, and classic salads, such as a steakhouse-inspired wedge. Or, diners can build their own dishes. More than 35 ingredients are offered for salads alone, as well as burgers with the choice of certified Angus beef, chicken, turkey, salmon or vegetarian options, four types of buns, and different toppings and sauces; sausage selections; and pizzas with slow-cooked pulled pork or veggies, among others. The eatery also will offer a selection of sides, a kids menu, beer and wine, and customizable or signature shakes and ice-cream sandwiches.

After diners submit their orders via the iPad, the eatery's servers deliver the meals to the tables. In addition, the restaurant will allow customers to store their menu favorites for future visits, and it will offer to-go service.

“Integrating personalized ordering technology into the restaurant business model allows us to focus on providing our guests a higher quality, more enjoyable dining experience at a much better value than traditional casual restaurants,” said Motenko, who, along with Hennessy, left BJ's Restaurants in 2008.

The first STACKED location, slated to open at the Del Amo Fashion Center, will be housed in a 6,300-square-foot space and will offer seating for 160. It will boast a modern industrial atmosphere with steel sash windows, wood floors, open kitchens, social dining counters, booths and colorful lighting. STACKED Restaurants also has plans to open two additional eateries this year – one at Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego this summer, followed by Los Cerritos Center in the fall.

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Readers Feedback:

Pretty soon, robots will deliver the food. No need to tip. Yeah!
Comment at 2/16/2011
Sound unique and very fun. Can't wait till it opens!
Comment at 2/16/2011
What a great idea. Chalk Talk can create custom Chalk Menu Boards for the To-Go area. www.ChalkMenus.com
Comment at 2/17/2011
Love the idea can't wait to try. BJ's wonderful, will Stacked have a Bar?
Comment at 5/27/2011