Nation’s Restaurant News:

Former McDonald’s franchisee Irwin Kruger, who operated the brand’s high-grossing Times Square unit, opened his first fast-casual Smashburger location on New York’s Long Island earlier this week.

Kruger, whose company ISK Systems LLC sold its four McDonald’s restaurants in Manhattan back to the Oak Brook, Ill.-based company in 2010, said he plans to open at least 20 Smashburger units on Long Island over the next several years.

He also said he would not rule out the possibility of expanding Smashburger into Manhattan in the future. While he said nothing is firmed up,” Kruger noted that “the market in New York is ripe for Smashburger.” Read full story.