With a targeted opening date of December 22, new franchisee Alan English is bringing the fast-casual Penn Station East Coast Subs brand to the Windy City.

English plans to open an additional nine Chicago-area locations within the next five years, beginning with the first unit in Skokie and expanding to areas including the Loop, Evanston, Oak Park and Niles.

English, who grew up in Cincinnati and became a fan of the brand there, feels Penn Station has strong brand awareness among Chicago residents who have moved to the city from Ohio and other states where it is more established.

Craig Dunaway, president of the 275-unit chain, told the Chicago Tribune that Penn Station could ultimately have 75 to 100 restaurants in the Chicago market.

The company anticipates opening 30 restaurants nationwide in 2015. In addition to Chicago, new target markets include Richmond, Va., Detroit, Nashville and the Carolinas.