ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford’s Beef-A-Roo restaurant chain says it’s ready to take its business model nationwide.

NEXT Brands and Development acquired the franchising rights to Beef-A-Roo in 2021 and plans to expand the chain to 50 locations in the Midwest and Southeast in the next 3-5 years.

According to a spokesperson, Beef-A-Roo plans to get a few locations up and running and then franchise them out to new owners.

Beef-A-Roo was named the “Best Regional Food Chain in Illinois” by in October 2021. The company was founded in Rockford in 1967, and opened its first location in the Chicago suburb of West Dundee in June 2021.

Beef-A-Roo is working to open a new location, at 1680 N. Alpine, in the former Sturtevant’s Menswear building. It was expected to open in 2021 but met with zoning hurdles after neighbors brought traffic concerns to City Council.

The restaurant would become the fourth Beefaroo location in Rockford, along with the Auburn Street, Lexus Drive, South Alpine locations.

Beef-A-Roo also operates restaurants in Loves Park, Machesney Park, Roscoe.