Red Robin may be flapping into the Valley.
Rumors have been flying for months that the hip hamburger chain would open a new store near the Spokane Valley Mall.
Mike Snyder, CEO of Denver-based Red Robin International, confirmed that the company plans to open a new restaurant in Spokane, and the Valley Mall is one of three sites being considered.
“We’re very interested in opening new stores in the Spokane area, and it could be one in the Spokane Valley Mall,” he said.
Snyder will be in Spokane today to meet with real estate agents and executives from Hanson Industries, which is developing the retail village around the mall. A final Red Robin site will be selected in about two weeks, Synder said.
Other possible locations include the downtown area and the South Hill.
“Those are the only other places that can handle a Red Robin,” said Snyder, who added that a downtown location is contingent upon the city’s redevelopment progress.
The North Side Red Robin - Spokane’s only store - continues to see growth. Last year, that location saw an 18 percent to 20 percent jump in sales.
Valley Mall developers won’t confirm Red Robin’s plans, but the restaurant has been considering the mall for several months, said Dave Carlsen of Hanson Industries.
Other developments around the mall include Tony Roma’s Restaurant, electronics retailer Circuit City, and Gart Sports, a sporting goods store.
Barnes and Noble, the New York-based bookseller, has signed a letter of intent to build a store near the mall, but lease arrangements are still being negotiated, said Carlsen.
Staples, an office supply retailer, has also signed a letter of intent.
“We’ve got lease drafts on the table, and they’ve made an agreement to agree,” he said. “We’re just trying to figure out how to shoehorn them all in.”
If all the projects materialize, Red Robin would be the sixth major business to join the mall’s retail village.
The first Red Robin opened in the 1940’s near the University Bridge in Seattle and was called “Sam’s Red Robin.” The burger joint quickly became a popular hangout with students from the University of Washington.
Today, there are more than 137 Red Robin restaurants in the U.S., concentrated mostly in the Western states. Last year, the company had $296 million in sales. This year’s numbers are projected to be well over $300 million, Snyder said.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.