Look at zoning, health dept and then business license/insurances. Once you've squeezed thru these hoops, your next consideration is consistency - Nothing can make or break a business like consistentcy - Hours, product, appearance, etc. You also need to know your business partner, and his long term goals, etc. Given the info you've provided, there's a lot of work to do before considering equipment, and even some experienced folks might run the other way before going thru all the due diligence.
Agree with Shane, being across the street from a chain could be a very good thing.