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Firebirds CEO dishes on new restaurant prototype in Huntersville, future growth


Firebirds Wood Fired Grill debuts its new restaurant prototype in Huntersville tomorrow.

That 5,600-square-foot polished-casual restaurant will open at 16641 Birkdale Commons Parkway, part of the Birkdale Landing mixed-used development.

The new look — created by Charlotte-based Starr Design — offers a more contemporary take on the American steakhouse and wood-fired grill. Expect floor-to-ceiling windows, lighter-toned wood, charred black brick, exposed steel, abstract artwork and pops of orange, red and teal.

Lighter colors, more light and higher energy make the restaurant more of an everyday venue dishing up oversized salads and sandwiches versus a special-event steakhouse, says CEO Steve Kislow.

“I think we have evolved. We’ve given more reasons for people to enjoy Firebirds,” he says. “It’s no longer a special-occasion restaurant.”

The Huntersville restaurant is a smaller footprint for the brand. It seats 136 in the dining room. There’s also the signature Firebar with a waterfall display of lit bottles. An enclosed patio with retractable windows provides another dining option. An open kitchen allows diners to see into the action.

“If it’s in the name, people need to be able to see it and understand it’s a big part of what we do,” Kislow says.

The restaurant is the first of the new prototype to open in North Carolina. About a dozen restaurants with the new design have opened since it rolled out in fall 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.

The revamp has helped Firebirds expand its demographic and reach new guests, Kislow says.

Huntersville marks the fourth restaurant for Firebirds in the Charlotte market. Kislow sees room for as many as three more restaurants here.


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8600 Sam Furr Road, Suite 100
Huntersville, NC 28078