weather icon Clear

Checkers restaurants to reopen in Las Vegas as Rally’s

Updated October 9, 2019 - 5:03 pm

Fast-food chain Checkers is returning to Las Vegas — sort of — roughly six months after abruptly closing all of its locations.

The restaurant, at 4175 E. Desert Inn Road, will reopen as Rally’s next Thursday. Plans are underway to open at least four more over in Las Vegas over the next 18 months and eventually grow to nearly 20 locations in Southern Nevada in five years.

The company partnered with Los Angeles-based franchisee Wahid Karas, who has exclusive development rights for the Las Vegas market for the next 18 months.

Karas said he’s opening a second Rally’s at 1900 E. Charleston Blvd. in about two months and is looking to open additional locations.

“This is the one concept I can grow and grow fast versus Burger King and Carl’s Jr. or other burger concepts where they’re everywhere,” Karas said, adding that he will open seven Rally’s in Los Angeles. “The square footage is only 1,000 to 1,200 square feet — small properties. Plus, the food is awesome and they bring a good value to our clients.”

Karas has more than 25 years of experience operating franchises such as Jack in the Box. He owns and operates eight Popeye’s and two Broken Yolk Cafés in California as well as a Jersey Mike’s in Yuma, Arizona.

Reintroducing the brand as Rally’s made sense since West Coast residents are more familiar with the moniker, said Robert Bhagwandat, director of franchise development at Checkers.

“On the East Coast you’ll see a lot more Checkers locations and on the West Coast you’ll see a lot more Rally’s,” Bhagwandat said. “Even though we are one company, the name of the concepts are more regionally recognized.”

The company has checked the Checkers name performance in several other markets on the West Coast, including Bakersfield, California, he said. “It just never performed at the same level that the Rally’s name does,” which is why it opted for Rally’s in Las Vegas.

Bhagwandat said the previous franchisee, which operated six Checkers locations in Las Vegas, chose the Checkers name because the area welcomes a number of tourists.

“Tourists don’t necessarily leave the Strip to go out to a fast-food place so you’ve got to make sure you’re taking care of the local community … and they gravitate towards the name of Rally’s more than anything else,” he said.

Rally’s menu items are similar to those at Checkers, except for a few tweaks. For example, diners will find the classic Checkerburger is known as the Rallyburger.

“The biggest thing is really getting the name recognition back into the market,” Bhagwandat said. “With the franchisee that we’ve chosen to go into (Las Vegas), it’s going to be a very different experience for the customer base.”

Contact Subrina Hudson at shudson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0340. Follow @SubrinaH on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
Binion's debuts a spinning bar overlooking Fremont Street Experience
Binion's debuted its spinning bar inside the Whiskey Licker Up Saloon. The Rotating bar only goes at one full rotation per 15 minutes overlooking the Fremont Street Experience. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Southern Nevada could set a new resale-price record in coming months.
The median sales price of previously owned single-family homes – the bulk of the market – was $310,000 in September. Before the economy crashed last decade, prices peaked in June 2006 at $315,000, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.(Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Walmart container park in Henderson - VIDEO
Henderson could be home to a container park associated with a Walmart Inc. initiative. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recession lessons could help Las Vegas face next slump - VIDEO
While the last economic downturn had a dramatic impact on local casinos, most experts expect the industry will be better able to weather the storm during the next recession. (Mat Luschek / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM and victims of Oct. 1 reach settlement agreement - VIDEO
MGM Resorts International and lawyers representing potentially thousands of victims of the Oct. 1, 2017, mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip have reached a tentative settlement of between $735 million and $800 million. (Mat Luschek /Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Live music and EDM dominate the night on day 2 of A’Le’Innstock
After sunset bands rocked the crowds at A’Le’Innstock in Rachel, Nevada on the second night of the event.
iPhone 11 Release
Local Las Vegas long time Apple product consumer shares her excitement for the new iPhone 11 release Downtown Summerlin. (Elizabeth Page Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lihi Levin talks about a mobil app Dropit - VIDEO
Lihi Levin, regional manager at Dropit Shopping, talks about a mobil app Dropit. The app lets customers leave their shopping bags at a store then have them delivered the same day to their home or hotel so they can shop without carrying multiple bags all day. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
North Las Vegas company prepares for Mars - VIDEO
Robert Bigelow and his Bigelow Aerospace manufacturing facility played host to eight NASA astronauts and 60 engineers this week getting to know the company’s B330 autonomous, expandable space station. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas developer talks about a new apartment complex called “the yoU”
Frank Marretti lll, founder of G2 Capital Development, talks about his new apartment complex called “the yoU” near UNLV. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Steel cables will hoist roof at Allegiant Stadium - VIDEO
Stainless steel cables are being put into place at Allegiant Stadium to begin the process of putting the roof on the 65,000-seat stadium in Las Vegas. Stadium Chief Operating Officer Don Webb explains how the cables will be used to get the roof put on the future home of the Raiders and UNLV football. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The last remaining Sigma Derby game in Las Vegas
Derek Stevens, owner of the D Las Vegas, talks about the last remaining Sigma Derby horse racing game in Las Vegas inside his casino floor. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich Review
Janine Blake of Las Vegas gives her review of the new Popeyes Spicy Chicken Sandwich at the restaurant’s location on west Bonanza Road on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019,
SuperZoo 2019 takes over Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas
SuperZoo 2019 show for pet retailers brought pet products of all description to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MSG Sphere at The Venetian to cost $1.2B plus
Scheduled to open in 2021, it is expected to be busier than Madison Square Garden in New York. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Favorite products from SuperZoo 2019
Some of the fun and interesting pet products on display at the SuperZoo in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MAGIC Convention Day 3
The fashion trade show MAGIC, held Monday through Wednesday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MAGIC Las Vegas - Day One
The biannual MAGIC convention show opened Monday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant celebrates naming deal with tailgate party
Allegiant Air employees celebrate with a tailgate party after the company’s naming deal with the Raiders for the new Las Vegas stadium.
Nevada's sportsbook operators welcome competition
Sportsbook operators from near and far are looking to get into in the established Nevada market, experts say. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get a first look of MSG Sphere construction in Las Vegas
Representatives of The Madison Square Garden Company give the first glimpse of progress Tuesday of the under-construction MSG Sphere — a first-of-its-kind performance venue with high-tech audio and visual capabilities.
China’s growth hits 26-year low, slowing global economy

The world’s second-largest economy expanded by 6 percent in the three months ending in September, down from the previous quarter’s 6.2 percent, data showed Friday.