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Smoke’s Poutinerie plans Midwest expansion

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Smoke’s Poutinerie, a popular Canadian poutine chain, is coming to Michigan.

The “gravy train” will open restaurants in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Lansing as part of a big Midwest push that also includes Ohio and Indiana.

“Our fans are demanding poutine in the Midwest,” said Smoke’s founder Ryan Smolkin in a press release. He has teamed up with Liberty Tax franchisees Craig Comer and Hilaire Tolsma, multi-unit Jet’s Pizza franchisee Joel Northam and public relations veteran Toine Murphy to expand the brand into the Midwest.

“We feel the Smoke’s vibe every day,” Comer said in a press release. “From the moment we first sampled Smoke’s Poutinerie in Toronto, we knew that the Midwest was going to fall in love with the brand’s originality, personality and product.”

Neither exact locations nor a solid opening time line have been set, but at least one Midwest location is expected to open in 2016.

Smoke’s has 100 locations in Canada with 35 more on the way. The company’s goal is to have 1,300 stores (800 in the United States) by 2020.

The menu features hand-cut, seasoned French fries smothered in signature gravy and cheese curds. Variations on the poutine include bacon, pulled pork, Philly cheesesteak, chicken peppercorn, chicken chili, steak fajita, veggie nacho and others.


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Twitter: @melodybaetens