The evolving Suwanee restaurant scene will get another new entry in the spring when Friends Sports Grill sets up shop near Town Center.
Ray Stanjevich, owner/operator of the coming Suwanee eatery, says Friends should be open in 2-3 months. It will be in a strip mall on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road that backs up to Town Center and the nearby housing development. The suite formerly housed Corralejo and Indigo Joe's.
Stanjevich also owns the Friends location in Dacula, and is a veteran of the restaurant industry.
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"It's a very competitive industry," Stanjevich noted recently while working on the interior of the Suwanee location. "It's hard work.
"If the food is not right, people are not going to come back."
The menu at the Dacula location qualifies as casual dining.
Friends will be opening at a time of great change in the local restaurant scene. Recently, Olde Towne Tavern & Grille, Moondance Restaurant & Lounge and Cafe Gourmandises closed in Suwanee. Also, Buffalo's Cafe opened in the former Diggers site last month.
Though he owns other Friends locations (including one in Dawsonville), he still considers himself an independent operator.
He and friend Suzanne Cartwright will manage the Suwanee location in a hands-on manner.
"It's darn near impossible to be successful if you don't run (the business) yourself."