Pizza Hut is one of several popular fast food chains looking to set up new stores in the Illawarra, with the company already finding a "greenfield site" at Albion Park. Locally there are outlets in Fairy Meadow, Warrawong, Dapto and Shellharbour, and for around $450,000 an entrepreneur can take out a new franchise, according to a commercial real estate ad. The Mercury understands the new site on Tongarra Road would open in late 2024 and be part of a new service station development. After Pizza Hut Australia was taken over by Flynn Restaurant Group in June, the largest restaurant franchise operator in the US, the AFR reported the company planned to open 30 new stores in 2024. "Pizza Hut opened its first restaurant in Australia over 50 years ago and ... from all-you-can-eat dine-in to the iconic Dougie, Pizza Hut is woven into the Australian fabric," their website states. Known as The Shed, this popular rustic coffee shop already has 21 locations around NSW and the ACT (including one at Dapto Mall) and has its sights set on Calderwood Village Centre for its 22nd store. "No experience necessary," according to the commercial real estate ad, but a budding cafe owner would need around $319,000 and be prepared for a seven-year lease. The new premises would be built within the new Lendlease estate, which is to be home to more than 6000 families within the next decade, according to their website. A Newcastle schnitzel empire is also vying to put their stamp on the region. Harry's Schnitzel Joint, founded by Harry and Gloria James, has grown to six stores north of Sydney and has an expression of interest out for a Wollongong franchisee. Their website states they would consider "kiosk, street level and shopping centres" for new locations, while their menu boasts a range of "healthy schnitzel wraps, burgers, and shakes". Meantime, there are still hopes for cult Bondi-burger bar Milky Lane to bring their Lil Weezy Wagyu, Chic-Kanye fried chicken burgers and fancy cocktails to the 'Gong. Currently, there are eight locations now trading and at least eight more opening in 2024. Their cool fit-out includes neon signs, booths and a bar set against a backdrop of Snoop Dogg, Tupac and Rihanna spray painted onto the walls. Founder Christian Avant said they were still very much interesting in the Illawarra, despite ACM reporting in September the company was going through a business restructure due to harsh economic times. "We most certainly have Wollongong on our vision board for the next 12 months - it was meant to happen many many years ago and then again maybe 6 months ago but sadly both made it to 90 per cent and then didn't eventuate," he said. "If the right person comes forward we are ready to move now most definitely."