The Hanford Mall will soon see the addition of Buffalo Wild Wings, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Dunkin Donuts and Pieology.
Passco Companies LLC, which owns the mall, announced the new restaurants in a press release Thursday. All four are expected to open in summer 2016.
Joanne Doerter, general manager for the Hanford Mall, said Passco’s decision to add a variety of new restaurants is consistent with current retail trends.
“We understand that an increased focus on lifestyle, food and entertainment is drawing foot traffic to shopping centers throughout the U.S.,” Doerter said in a press release. “Hanford Mall is no exception.”
Hanford Mayor Justin Mendes, whose district includes the mall, said he’s happy to see an “injection” of new businesses at the Hanford Mall.
“My family is extremely excited for all of these,” Mendes said. “It’s not good for my waistline, but District E is booming.”
Hanford Chamber of Commerce CEO Mike Bertaina said he’s known about the new restaurants for about a month. He said the details were kept under wraps until the leases had been finalized.
“It’s great news,” Bertaina said. “I’m ready to go eat.”
Buffalo Wild Wings announced late last year that it would be moving into the former Denny’s at the southeast corner of 12th Avenue and Lacey Boulevard.
Dunkin Donuts is slated to fill the former Arsenio’s Fresh Mexican Food, which recently relocated to 11th Avenue and Lacey Boulevard. The popular donut and coffee shop chain announced in July 2015 that one of its franchisees planned to develop 17 restaurants in Fresno and the surrounding cities including Clovis, Visalia and Tulare.
Pieology and Five Guys will occupy the former Robert’s Jewelers. The jewelry store closed in late 2014 after the store’s owner, Robert Van Gundy, decided to retire.
There are currently four Pieology locations in the Fresno-Clovis area. A Visalia location is also slated to open soon. There are two Five Guys restaurants in Fresno and one in Visalia.
News of the new businesses met mixed reactions on The Sentinel’s Facebook page.
“Hopefully this attracts big name retailers,” wrote Erick Martinez. “We need Hollister, American Eagle, Victoria’s Secret, Macy’s and any other big retailers to attract traffic.”
Others were uneasy about the addition of more restaurants on 12th Avenue. The 12th and Lacey area has recently seen the addition of other popular restaurants, including Chipotle Mexican Grill, The Habit Burger Grill and Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches.
“It will be a mall of just restaurants pretty soon,” Alex Pruneda wrote.
Bertaina said he thinks the new dining options should draw additional traffic to the mall, which means more potential shoppers. While local residents often complain about the number of chain eateries in the city, he said new restaurants should bode well for the mall’s efforts to attract more retailers and fill the hole left by Forever 21.
As Forever 21 works to close some of its larger stores, it moved ahead with plans this month to close its Hanford location. The store, which opened at the 80,000-square-foot former Gottschalks in 2009, is slated to close on April 1. The retailer also plans to close locations in San Luis Obispo and Yuba City, according to a state Worker Adjustment Retaining Notification (WARN),
“I think they’ll get that filled up pretty quick,” Bertaina said of the mall.