Isaac's moves HQ to Cumberland County
Mike Weaver has led his flock west to Cumberland County.
After 36 years in Lancaster, midstate restaurant chain Isaac's — known for its grilled sandwiches named after birds — has moved its headquarters out of the Red Rose city for the West Shore of Cumberland County.
Weaver, the company's president and CEO, said the chain's eight corporate employees are now operating out of office space at 1104 Fernwood Ave. in Lower Allen Township. Isaac's previously managed its 18 restaurants from an office at 354 N. Prince St. in Lancaster.
"This move has saved us some money to put more into reinvesting in our stores," he said.
Weaver, who lives in Dillsburg, said the move was in the works for about six to nine months. He said about half of the corporate staff already lives in the Harrisburg area, so Cumberland County made sense.
"We thought it was the right opportunity," he said. "And we thought it was important to be just off Route 15."
Isaac's has a restaurant about two miles away in the Rossmoyne Business Center, and two others in Cumberland County. The Rossmoyne location recently added a bar, becoming just the second restaurant in the chain to sell alcohol.
The chain also has been adding fried food and new appetizers to the menu at all of its restaurants, hoping to bolster its appeal to visitors.
"In today's world, if people want to go out to eat, they want an experience they can't get at home," he said.
Part of that experience is unique food items. The chain tested items like cheese curds and fried pickle chips before rolling out the expanded menu to all locations.
Weaver said he has other "exciting stuff in the wings" for the chain, though he declined to disclose details. He also said he sees more opportunities to grow the chain, especially in the Harrisburg area.
"I think Cumberland County presents a lot of opportunity," he said of the fastest-growing county in the commonwealth. "From Carlisle to the Route 15 corridor and toward Dillsburg, it is growing."
Weaver also said he could see adding a location in downtown Harrisburg, though there are no current plans to do so. Isaac's tried a downtown York location, but that restaurant didn't generate enough business and closed last summer.
"I think the future is in downtown experiences," he said. "My first priority is existing stores, but we're looking for opportunities all the time."