Monday, June 24, 2024

Leland Town Center to get a new brunch spot by summer

Eggs Up will open by July or August in Leland. (Courtesy photo)

LELAND — A local couple already overseeing two restaurants from the popular Pawley’s Island franchise Eggs Up Grill is bringing a third eatery to the area.

READ MORE: Fave Chapel Hill burger shack to open in Leland, Wilmington next

Jennifer and Brandon Padilla are opening the popular brunch spot by July or August at 3556 Leland Town Center Drive. It will be restaurant number three for the couple.

“[It] has the greatest potential and is expanding the fastest,” spokesperson Cecily Sorenson of The Ivey Agency, who represents the group, reasoned of the restaurateurs choosing Leland.

The grill will join others already announced in the strip mall behind Aldi and Cookout. It includes Al’s Burger Shack, a popular Chapel Hill burger franchise that announced it was coming to the area last week, as well as locally owned The Greeks.

The Padillas were long fans of Eggs Up from visits in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. The restaurant formed in 1997 from Chris Skodras, who sold the company to WJ Partners in 2018.

“Everyone was always happy when we would eat at the restaurant,” Brandon said of his early visits.

Brandon formerly was an employee of Lowe’s Home Improvement for 18 years, the last decade serving in management. Jennifer was a corporate income tax auditor for the state of South Carolina. Yet, the two always had an interest in becoming entrepreneurs. Upon meeting the Eggs Up Grill CEO Ricky Richardson and the corporate team, the two were impressed by the brand.

“We are huge ambassadors of Eggs Up Grill, the concept, the hours, serving happy customers and having wonderful staff,” Jennifer said. “Even though it’s a franchise, it still allows us to identify and run it as a local restaurant.”

The Leland location will also be owned by Mike Aquino, a cousin to the Padillas. He was brought on to help open both the Shallotte and Southport restaurants. Originally a FedEx worker for 23 years, Aquino said coming in at the ground floor of Leland will be part of a larger goal to partner with the Padillas in at least one more eatery.

“It’s exciting to be a part of where it started on the East Coast,” Aquino said.

The Padillas hope to own at least five restaurants and are eyeing the UNCW area for restaurant number four, though no contracts or leases have been signed yet.

Another Eggs Up already exists in Wilmington on Carolina Beach Road, owned by a different franchisee.

There are more than 70 locations in multiple states, including Georgia, Florida, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Texas and Mississippi, with more than a dozen in North Carolina. Most are franchised, except for a corporate-owned restaurant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Another 100 are in development, to come online in the next 10 years.

The Leland space will seat 124 people indoors and 36 outdoors in the 3,000-square-foot eatery. Eggs Up is well-known for its full menu of egg selections, omelets, Benedicts, and breakfast sandwiches, as well as pancakes, waffles and a selection of mimosas. Lunch includes burgers, sandwiches, melts, salads and bowls, with kid-friendly and gluten-friendly options.

“As Leland residents ourselves, we are excited to bring Eggs Up Grill to this growing community and give local families a place to enjoy a great breakfast,” Jennifer said in a press release. “We are appreciative of the tremendous support we have received in Shallotte and Southport and look forward to serving up smiles in Leland this summer.” 

The restaurant will seat 124 people indoors and 36 outdoors in the 3,000-square-foot eatery. It will operate seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., with dine-in, online ordering, takeout, catering and delivery available. 

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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