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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The Dirt: New hamburger restaurant to fill former Wolffy’s

A new restaurant is coming to the building formerly occupied by Wolffy’s Hamburgers near Gonzaga University.

Kalispell-based real estate firm Landstar Properties has filed a building permit application with the city to convert the 1,400-square-foot building at 1229 N. Hamilton St. into a Frugals hamburger restaurant.

In 1988, Peter and Sheila Stewart opened the first Frugals burger restaurant in Port Angeles. Prior to opening the restaurant, the Stewarts conducted a comprehensive analysis of the hamburger industry by studying consumer trends, demographics, menus and building layouts.

The Stewarts found that a disproportionally high percentage of customers preferred to buy meals from drive-thru windows. They subsequently developed a concept of a double drive-thru window allowing for faster service and lower prices, according to the company website.

The concept was a hit among customers, and the Stewarts opened a second restaurant in 1990 in Tacoma, followed by locations in Auburn and Kalispel.

Frugals now has six locations in Washington and Montana, in addition to a food truck.

Element Worx Inc., of Kalispell, is the project contractor for the Frugals restaurant on Hamilton Street. The project architect is Bargreen Ellingson, of Tacoma.

The project valuation is $120,000, according to the application.

Frugals did not respond to a request for comment on its Spokane plans.

Wolffy’s Hamburgers, which was a 1950s-style diner, closed in January. The Davis family, owners of Wolffy’s and sister restaurant Wolffy’s Breakfast Burgers & Brews in Airway Heights, cited statewide coronavirus-related mandates as a reason for closing the Hamilton Street location.

BigFoot Java opening on North Division

BigFoot Java, a specialty coffee drive-thru chain is expanding to Spokane with a location on Division Street.

Seattle-based AMJ Development filed a predevelopment application with the city to build a the coffee stand on three parcels of land at 2002, 2012 and 2014 N. Division St., according to the application.

The project valuation is $1 million, including the land purchase, according to the application.

The site is adjacent to the former Mountain Gear outdoor equipment store, which is undergoing conversion into a Dollar Tree.

Bigfoot Investment Group LLC opened the first BigFoot Java in Puyallup in 2002. BigFoot Java has since expanded to 35 locations in the state.

Former Econo Lodge to be converted into apartments

A former Econo Lodge Inn & Suites near Sunset Boulevard will be converted into apartments, according to an application filed with the city.

Beaverton, Oregon-based Fortify Holdings filed the application to change the use of the Econo Lodge into the James Apartments at 1503 S. Rustle St.

Plans call for renovating former hotel rooms in the 35,400-square-foot, two-story building into apartments with kitchenettes. Work also includes painting and repairs.

Spokane-based Indigo Diggs is the project architect.

Self-storage facility coming to in Airway Heights

Developers are planning to build a new self-storage facility in Airway Heights.

Chris Bornhoft, Starlen Properties president and managing member, filed a predevelopment application with the city to build the facility near the northeast corner of Flight Drive and Deer Heights Road.

The first phase of development will consist of three self-storage buildings spanning a total of 34,560 square feet. The second phase calls for two additional buildings spanning a total of 35,520 square feet. The self-storage units will be sold individually to buyers, according to the application.

The project valuation is $2.6 million, according to the application.

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