HANFORD – Rest assured, Kings County: Dunkin' Donuts is still coming to Hanford, according to local officials.
"We anticipate the opening will take place in late 2016 or early 2017," said Amy Scarlett, a spokeswoman for the company.
The popular doughnuts and coffee brand that seems to generate a lot of excitement and loyalty among its fans was one of several restaurants that Hanford Mall officials predicted would be open on mall property by the end of this summer.
Three of them — Buffalo Wild Wings, Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Pieology — have been true to form.
Buffalo Wild Wings opened in July in the former Denny's building. Five Guys opened in August and Pieology opened earlier this month, both in the former Robert's Jewelers building.
Those three eateries and Dunkin' Donuts all signed leases at about the same time, according to Joanne Doerter, Hanford Mall manager.
The delay in Dunkin' Donuts, which is slated to go in the former Arsenio's Fresh Mexican Food building, has caused rumors to spread that maybe the beloved doughnut/coffee provider was pulling out of the deal.
One local resident called The Sentinel to express his concerns.
Nothing to worry about, according to Doerter.
"They are coming," she said.
Doerter expects construction work on the former Arsenio's building to start in October.
Senior Hanford Planner Melody Haigh said that Dunkin' Donuts has applied to the city for a building permit.
She said that planners are reviewing the application and that the permit will likely be approved "in the next couple of weeks."
Mike Bertaina, CEO of the Hanford Chamber of Commerce, said Dunkin' Donuts is popular.
"I think everybody in the world has heard of Dunkin' Donuts," he said. "It's kind of like In-N-Out Burger."