POCATELLO — Clayton Jones, co-owner of 13 Carl’s Jr. restaurants throughout Idaho, including two in Idaho Falls, is bringing the fast-food chain to the Gate City.
“We are under contract with a property in front of Winco,” Jones said on Wednesday. “All things are a go for a Carl’s Jr. by next spring.”
Michael Read, vice president of public and legal affairs for Boise-based Winco, told the Journal earlier this year that there were three sites on the new store’s property, located at 1030 Yellowstone Avenue, for additional businesses. It appears they are being snapped up quickly.
Currently under construction in front of the new Winco store, adjacent to the entry from Yellowstone Avenue, is a new branch of Mountain America Credit Union, according to Matthew Lewis, Pocatello’s planning division manager.
On the other side of that Yellowstone Avenue entry is where Jones said he and his partner will be locating the Carl’s Jr.
Jones, is co-owner of 13 Carl’s Jr. restaurants, but not all of them are owned with the same partners. The planned Pocatello location will be the sixth restaurant with one of his partners, but by the time it opens, it will be the 16th Carl’s Jr. in which he has part ownership as there are two other locations under construction.
Among those locations under construction is a third Idaho Falls restaurant, one at Broadway and Utah, which broke ground last week. Jones’ first Idaho Falls location opened on 17th Avenue near Hitt Road on the last day of 2011. His second opened at Northgate Mile and Holmes in May of 2012.
Finding that perfect location has not always been an easy task.
“In Idaho Falls, Pocatello and even Twin Falls, if you follow the rule — location, location, location — you try to find a spot where you really want to be," Jones said. "It took a while but it finally worked out for us in Idaho Falls.”
As it turns out, Jones has had his eyes on the exact location where he’s putting the new Carl’s Jr. for many years.
“Years ago, way back when it was still in the hands of General Growth, we told them it would be a great spot for a Winco and a Target,” Jones said. “We were lucky enough now to end up in front of Winco.”
If all goes according to plan, the new Carl’s Jr. will be serving up food by next spring.
That Carl’s Jr. may not be the only new restaurant the Gate City enjoys next year.
Although finding anyone to confirm that a MacKenzie River Pizza Co. restaurant would be opening in Pocatello proved difficult on Wednesday, there was one person with knowledge of the deal who did say it was going into Pocatello Square. That person, however, asked not to be identified.
MacKenzie River is based in Whitefish, Mont., and operates 16 locations in Montana, Idaho, Indiana and North Dakota. The currently have two locations under construction, including one in Idaho Falls that is slated to open this fall. It will be their second Idaho location.
Erica Coffman, director of marketing for Glacier Restaurant Group, which operates Whitefish, Mont.-based MacKenzie River Pizza Co., was not available for comment on Wednesday.
Mike Vigliaturo, who oversees development at Pocatello Square, declined to comment on whether MacKenzie River Pizza Co. was headed to the retail center, saying that he never makes such announcements, leaving it in the hands of those companies coming to the center.
Lewis, Pocatello’s planning division manager, said he had not received any plans regarding construction of a MacKenzie River Pizza Co., in Pocatello Square.
But there is one group that is shouting the news that a deal was indeed signed. Coldwell Banker Commercial’s Retail Team through its Twitter account.
A tweet from the CBC Retail Team dated June 3 reads, “Done Deal: Stuart Thain & Cameron Simonsen have leased 5,500 (square feet) at Pocatello Square, in Pocatello, ID, to MacKenzie River Pizza!!”
Vigliaturo did confirm that Thain and Simonsen are the brokers he uses for Pocatello Square. No firm date of construction was available and calls to Thain and Simonsen, who are based in Salt Lake City, were not returned on Wednesday.