Former Charlie Brown’s/Chi-Chi’s to be Longhorn Steakhouse in Wyomissing PA
The former Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse building has been dormant since the February 2009 closing of the restaurant at 1085 Woodland Road, Wyomissing.
But anyone passing the busy corner at Woodland and Ridgewood roads lately can’t help but notice that something new is going in there.
The old Charlie Brown building, still bearing the Southwest look of its former occupant, Chi-Chi’s Restaurante, has been razed.
National chain Darden Restaurants Inc., owner of Red Lobster and Olive Garden, side by side, in the next block of Woodland Road, plans to build its own brand of steakhouse, LongHorn Steakhouse.
LongHorn, decorated in a Western theme, is a 30-year-old brand of the Orlando, Fla., company. LongHorn, with more than 390 restaurants in 36 states, serves steaks, chicken, fish and ribs.
The Wyomissing property is owned by Allied Retail Properties, Concord, Del., owner of the Berkshire Mall and Berkshire Mall West.
In June, Wyomissing Borough Council approved plans for a 6,242-square-foot building with the capability of seating 242 people.
At that time, Darden representative Michele Wright said the company hopes to be operational by early 2013.
Erica Jaeger, spokeswoman for LongHorn, said the typical cost to build a LongHorn is $3.7 million, including land, construction, equipment and furnishings.
The restaurant will create about 80 to 100 jobs, Jaeger said.
Darden picked Wyomissing, Jaeger said because: “Our sister concepts (Red Lobster and Olive Garden) have been well-received in the market and we identified it as a great place with long-term growth potential.”
Marti Heim-Hozey, interim borough manager and borough secretary at Wyomissing, said: “Wyomissing borough is thrilled to have LongHorn Steakhouse building a brand new restaurant at the old Charlie Brown/Chi Chi’s site.
“We have worked with the owners of Berkshire Mall, Allied Retail Properties, as well as with Darden Restaurants, the owner of LongHorn Steakhouse, to approve the plans for the new restaurant.
“Wyomissing borough is committed to continued economic development in the borough. We feel this is a wonderful use for that site and wish them great success at that location.”
Darden awarded the contract to Dalo Construction Co. Inc., Tipp City, Ohio, in July, according to the Darden website.
Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse’s parent company, CB Holding Corp., opened in the 10,758-square-foot restaurant in January 2006. That restaurant seated 371.
When Charlie Brown’s closed three years later, the company had said the closing was part of a general business restructuring due in part to the continued challenging economic environment.
Charlie Brown’s refurbished Chi-Chi’s, which closed in 2004.
Chi-Chi’s, consisting of 76 Mexican restaurants, was bought by Outback Steakhouse Inc., Tampa, Fla., in bankruptcy court in 2004.
Chi-Chi’s opened in Wyomissing in 1985.
Darden operates more than 2,000 restaurants worldwide and has sales of more than $8 billion annually.
Article Obtained from Reading Eagle
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