Derrick Hayes – CEO and founder of Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks – is continuing to expand his cheesesteak empire with the latest location set to open in Lawrenceville, Georgia on Saturday, August 5. Located in Lawrenceville Marketplace at 875 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd, Suite 00008, the 1,500-square-foot outpost will serve as the fourth Atlanta-area location in addition to stores in downtown Atlanta, Doraville, Georgia and a Forest Park, Georgia location that opened earlier this year. The grand opening event will feature trivia games with prizes, including free cheesesteaks for a year, music from a DJ and a ribbon cutting.
Anchored by the cheesesteaks that started it all, the menu will offer a counter-service selection of beef, chicken and salmon cheesesteaks – each flavor-bombed with an overflow of toppings and sandwiched between a traditional Amoroso roll – loaded fries smothered with cheesesteak fixings, hand-rolled egg rolls and a selection of Philly-inspired salads. The Lawrenceville outpost will be open for lunch and dinner and available for counter-service dine-in and takeout.
“Our goal has always been to keep expanding the Big Dave’s brand, and here we are announcing our fourth location in Georgia,” said Hayes in a statement. “We’re committed to serving superior quality, customer service and our favorite West Philly tastes to more and more neighborhoods and can’t wait to open our doors for you. Lawrenceville, here we come!”
With current locations in downtown Atlanta, neighboring Doraville, Georgia and Forest Park, Georgia, the Lawrenceville restaurant will be located in the Lawrenceville Market Place right next to Target.
The Philly-born entrepreneur was inspired to start Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks as a way to bring his hometown flavors to the South while honoring the memory of his late father, Dave, and the times spent together in their kitchen alongside Derrick’s grandfather. Since its beginnings (the original sandwich shop was housed in a 700sq-ft gas station in Dunwoody, Georgia after many other spaces declined his lease applications), the concept has transformed into a thriving, multi-million dollar business.
In tandem with the brand’s culinary success, Derrick and his Big Dave’s team also spearhead a number of ongoing initiatives that actively work towards bettering their community. As an extension of the brand’s commitment to community betterment, Derrick established the David & Derrick Hayes Foundation – a foundation honoring his father in support of early detection and cancer research, the David & Derrick Hayes College Fund that provides quarterly funding to deserving students with a 3.0 GPA or higher, and Square 1: The Liife Experience – a program Derrick founded with his wife Pinky Cole (founder of Slutty Vegan) with an initiative to provide 25,000 Black men across the nation with full access and awareness to life insurance to support their health and generate generational wealth within the black community.
In addition, Big Dave’s provided free food to local Atlanta hospitals during the pandemic, has collaborated with Pepsi to donate $25,000 to Carver High School in Atlanta for a new computer center, donates free NFL tickets to organizations that support teens who are rebuilding their lives after being in trouble with the law, facilitates an annual toy drive to benefit local children, and for Juneteenth this year, Big Dave’s honored their staff with eight hours of PTO to use at a later date. The brand also recently launched their Blue Apron Program, an internal initiative that rewards hourly employees for every station they learn and ends with a Blue Apron Ceremony for those who achieve completion of every station.