Firewurst, a new restaurant introducing flame-grilled sausages and dogs to the fast casual market, opens today in Cary, N.C.

The first of a developing franchise concept, Firewurst emphasizes that its fresh baked buns, fresh local produce and lean meat-cuts offer the fast casual diner choices that are missing in today's marketplace, said Bill Morgenstern co-founder and CEO of Firewurst. It offers made-to-order gourmet coleslaws, such as Wasabi Cucumber and Sesame Ginger, that add spice and low-calorie options to the menu. Firewurst also has a selection of fries, including Cajun Spiced and Sweet Potato Fries, and a wide selection of beer, wine and other beverages.

The restaurant concept is the creation of the Morgenstern family, inspired by a family history of sausage-making, said Morgenstern, who plans to develop the chain into a high-quality national franchise.

"Our family has talked about igniting the other half of the backyard grill since I was very young. It's time to give artisan sausages and dogs their rightful place in fast casual world," said Chas Morgenstern, executive VP and co-founder of Firewurst.

Also on the Firewurst team is Vice President of Restaurant Operations Bart Carmichael, who has more than 20 years of multi-unit restaurant experience.

"Over the years I have learned that dreams of developing a great business don't come true if you don't partner with smart, talented and dedicated people," said Bill Morgenstern. "We have a seasoned team, and we are excited about our growth opportunities."

The second restaurant is under way at Brier Creek Shopping Center in Raleigh, N.C., and is expected to open in spring 2013.

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