South Hill Grill, a Lincoln Heights neighborhood staple, is slated to be demolished and potentially replaced by Chick-fil-A.
In a Facebook post on Saturday, South Hill Grill announced its closure at the end of October.
“We will try our best to keep everyone in the loop in what our future holds and if there is another location we can establish ourselves at,” the Facebook post said. “Until then, just keep showing your love and please also your patience while we continue to navigate through these tough times.”
The restaurant is currently looking at potential sites for relocation in the Spokane area, manager Dalila Gujic said.
“Our goal is to reopen in another location, but we aren’t sure where yet,” she said.
San Diego-based 4G Development and Consulting Inc. filed a pre-development application with the city in July to build a nearly 5,000-square-foot Chick-fil-A on five parcels of land near the southwest corner of 29th Avenue and Regal Street.
The restaurant would have 90 dining room seats, a double drive-thru and more than 100 parking spaces, according to a conceptual site plan for the project.
Spokane developer Harlan Douglass owns the five parcels of land currently occupied by the South Hill Grill and Bruchi’s Cheesesteak & Subs, Spokane County Assessor’s Office records show.
Both buildings are slated to be razed to make way for Chick-fil-A, according to the application.
The site plan for the South Hill Chick-fil-A shows drive-thru lanes winding through the parking lot between the restaurant and an entrance on 30th Avenue.
The city’s zoning code for the site, however, has restrictions on drive-thru lanes to prevent traffic jams. Drive-thru lanes are prohibited if they are located between a building and an adjacent street, according to the city.
The Chick-fil-A project has not yet progressed past a pre-development conference.
Multiple parties have filed pre-development applications with the city in the past for that site, but couldn’t make a drive-thru work while also meeting design standards, Kirstin Davis, spokeswoman for the city of Spokane’s public works division, told The Spokesman-Review in July.
A pre-development conference does not necessarily mean a project will occur, but rather an applicant is seeking information from the city on design regulations or whether the site is feasible for development.
Chick-fil-A said in July it’s interested in opening additional restaurants in the Spokane area, but declined to confirm whether it was considering a location on the South Hill.
Chick-fil-A opened its first Spokane location in December 2020 at 9304 N. Newport Highway.
South Hill Grill opened in 2005 as Maggie’s South Hill Grill, according to newspaper archives.
On Tuesday afternoon, Mallory Beach and Crystal Konkright were waiting to be seated for lunch at the eatery, which has drawn a steady stream of patrons since announcing its closure.
Beach was visiting the South Hill Grill for the first time. Konkright has dined at the restaurant before and enjoyed it.
“The food seems to be on the homecooked side of things,” Konkright said. “They have sushi and a really big menu. I have friends that really like it.”
Beach and Konkright were disappointed about the bistro-style restaurant’s potential closure.
“It’s sad to lose local businesses that will get replaced with chain restaurants,” Beach said.
If a Chick-fil-A is built on the site, it could compound heavy traffic in that area of Lincoln Heights, Konkright said.
“Traffic is bad as it is,” Konkright said. “I think it could be a traffic upset.”
Beach and Konkright encouraged residents to visit the South Hill Grill while its still in operation.
“Come support the restaurant,” Konkright said. “Maybe they’ll open somewhere else.”
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