ST. LOUIS — Penn Station East Coast Subs will open its 24th St. Louis-area location Friday at 6124 Mid Rivers Mall Drive in St. Peters. This is the fifth Penn Station restaurant for franchisee Rick Smith, who owns four others in St. Charles County.

"Restaurants have been in my blood since 1977, and I've always been drawn back to this industry," Smith said in a statement. "I'm thrilled to help the Penn Station brand grow in the St. Louis area. I've worked for all types of restaurants, and the quality of the food at Penn Station stands out."

Sugarfire Smoke House, through a new partnership, will set up operations at Cedar Lake Cellars' smokehouse to serve barbecue-themed favorites.

The Cincinnati-based brand features grilled sub sandwiches, including its Philadelphia cheesesteak sandwich, and cold deli sandwiches made-to-order. Penn Station menus also include fresh-cut fries, hand-squeezed lemonade and chocolate chunk cookies. The sub shop offers eat-in, carry out and catering dining options.

Penn Station has more than 310 locations in 15 states: Ohio, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. All but one of its locations are franchisee-owned.

There's a new food truck hitting the road - but in Indianapolis. Sugarfire Smoke House founders Mike Johnson and Charlie Downs, alongside owners of the Indianapolis location, have introduced Brisket 1, the brand's new food truck.

The company was founded in 1985 and projects the opening of 10 to 15 new restaurants nationwide this year. Penn Station is targeting Kansas City, Missouri; Atlanta; Chicago; Pittsburgh; Nashville, Tennessee; Richmond, Virginia; and Raleigh, North Carolina, for franchise expansion.