Collins Hill Cluster

Friends Bar and Grill: Supporting the Community and Celebrating Success

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Friends American Bar and Grill is a locally owned restaurant chain founded right here in Suwanee, Georgia. Although Friends now has multiple locations across the Atlanta metro area, it had humble beginnings in 2010 when it was started by Ray Stanjevich and Suzanne Cartwright. Since 2010, Friends has expanded to include six locations, with another one on the way this year.

Throughout this growth, Friends has stayed true to their goal of remaining an independent, locally owned business, which supports the community and their employees. Every year since its founding, Ray and Suzanne have continued to support our community through their annual “Ansley’s Easter”. Ansley was a young girl who suffered from an incurable brain tumor, and Friends first fundraiser helped pay for her and her family’s medical bills. Although Ansley has since passed away, Friends continues to celebrate her spirit through their “Ansley’s Easter” celebrations.

They take pride in their community, too. The schedules of the sports teams from North Gwinnett and Collins Hill are displayed, and they even hang posters about the school plays. Ray and Suzanne always accommodate these same teams for parties or meetings, and you can tell it means the world to them. Through these fundraisers, celebrations, and support, Friends continues to support their community. Ray and Suzanne push themselves to go the extra mile to make every Friends restaurant be the best it can be, and I know this fact better than most as an employee of Friends myself.

Every Friends is filled to the brim with HDTVs that present every NFL game you could ever hope to see through the NFL package subscription. Every single Friends features a cozy patio and a fully stocked bar. Ray and Suzanne, however, go further than this to make Friends the neighborhood grill that it truly is. Every restaurant is decorated in a unique way, and pictures with members of their community crowd the walls. Friends Bar and Grill represents how a locally owned business should operate – They are ingrained into the soul of their community. Because of this, as with locally owned and respectable businesses, we have a responsibility as members of the community to support Friends Bar and Grill.