Central Ohio’s second McAlister’s Deli will open at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 21, at 1593 Hilliard-Rome Road in Columbus, just south of Hilliard.

“Hilliard is an amazing growth area, and I am excited to be a part of it,” said franchisee owner Dan Mulvey, 27, of Clintonville.

The McAlister’s Deli will be the second in the central Ohio; a franchise opened in 2014 at 7664 Sawmill Road in Columbus, just east of Dublin.

The first McAlister’s Deli opened in 1989 in Oxford, Mississippi.

Today, the Atlanta-based restaurant has more than 450 restaurants in 27 states, said Angie Champsaur, a spokeswoman for McAlister’s Deli.

Most of the restaurants are franchisees, Champsaur said.

The McAlister’s Deli near Hilliard will be Mulvey’s first franchise, but he has spent all his life in the restaurant business.

“We’ve been a restaurant family my whole life,” he said.

Mulvey’s father, Dale, owns about 70 McAlister’s deli franchises; his brother, Jake, owns two near Dayton.

“I grew up in a small town (near Van Wert); going to a big city and eating at a restaurant was an experience, something grandiose,” Mulvey said, and he wants customers to experience that.

McAlister’s Deli is known for deli sandwiches, giant stuffed baked potatoes, soups and salads, ‘Famous Sweet Tea’ and its hospitality, Champsaur said.

The Hilliard-Rome location will not have a drive-thru, Champsaur said.

To celebrate the grand opening of the Hilliard-Rome restaurant, McAlister’s Deli will award "free tea for a year" punch cards to the first 100 guests in line at or before the 10:30 a.m. opening Oct. 21.

The giveaway requires the purchase of an entree, and free tea is limited to one per week.

The McAlister’s Deli will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

For more information, go to mcalistersdeli.com.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo