A fast-growing burger brand backed by retired quarterback Drew Brees is expanding in Alabama and will soon arrive in Tuscaloosa, according to a Friday announcement.

Smalls Sliders is a breakout concept where fresh cheeseburger sliders are served out of modular 'Smorange'-colored 'cans' that are easy and inexpensive to install. They've opened or announced development of more than 250 locations since the first one opened in 2019.

The menu is just as stripped down as the can's footprint - you've got sliders on toasted, buttered buns with cheese, pickles and "Smauce," seasoned waffle fries, a grilled cheese sandwich, three kinds of milkshake and nothing else but upgrades and combo meals.

The concept comes from Louisiana's Troy Landry, who also launched Walk On's Sports Bistreaux, and is backed by investors including Brees.

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Their first locations in Alabama were announced in December, when restaurateur Mark Weeks signed a deal to set up four "Cans" across the state, targeting Auburn, Montgomery, Prattville, and Troy.

The Auburn location, Alabama's first, is expected to open in August.

On Friday, the brand and Weeks announced a new agreement to tack five more locations onto the list. According to the announcement, Weeks and a new partner, Patrick Sullivan, have not locked locations down yet but "will be targeting communities like Homewood, Hoover, Inverness, Pelham/Alabaster, Tuscaloosa and more in their site selection process."

“I was initially drawn to the simplicity of the concept,” Sullivan said. “From the modular buildout to the drive-thru and walk-up options, it was unlike anything I’d seen – but the menu is what truly sealed the deal. It’s fantastic food at a great price point and a digestible menu that doesn’t overwhelm the customer. It’s thrilling to join a concept with so much growth on the horizon, and I know I can speak for both Mark and myself in saying we are looking forward to painting Alabama Smorange™.”

Company leadership said they can't wait to expand in the Yellowhammer state and reach into the Tuscaloosa area.

“We’re thrilled to see that franchisees are so invigorated by our brand’s growth and trajectory that it leads to signing a second deal,” said Don Crocker, Chief Development Officer of Smalls Sliders. “It’s a true testament to the fact that our business model, leadership team and franchisees are a cut above the rest. Since our inception, the Southeastern region has been primed for our growth, so we’re excited to continue dropping Cans across Alabama."

For more from the franchise when their location in town is officially announced and for other exclusive coverage of restaurant and retail development in west Alabama, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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