Bennigan's Franchising Company opened two new units in December featuring the brands' recent remodel additions, including a bar and an outside patio.

The Jonesboro, Ark., location opened Dec. 6 at 237 South Main Street in downtown, and the Clarksburg, Md., unit opened Dec. 18 in the Buffington Building at 23315 Frederick Road.

"We are excited to bring Bennigan's into the local community," said Bette Buffington of Buffington Enterprises III L.L.C, Bennigan's Clarksburg franchisee. "The iconic, legendary brand is a perfect match for Clarksburg, and we hope to continue to develop additional restaurants once we see the success of this first Maryland location."

Longtime residents and business owners in the community, Buffington, along with her husband Joe Buffington and their son Joe Buffington II, initially built the Buffington Building to house their new ReMax Realty Center. Bette founded her real estate company in 1985, and has since built it to more than 90 agents in two local cities with her co-broker son, Joe II.

Manzar Riaz, the franchisee of the Jonesboro location, said he's excited to bring the concept to the city's downtown area.

A veteran of the industry, Riaz became familiar with franchising when he opened the first international Pizza Hut location in Pakistan. He also owned and operated three other restaurant concepts in Dubai and Pakistan and plans to open three additional Bennigan's restaurants throughout the next four years.

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