LACEY - Carl's Jr., a Southern California fast-food hamburger chain, plans to open its first South Sound restaurant this year, a company official said Friday.
Nick Trani, president of Northwest Foods LP, said his company plans to open a Carl's Jr. restaurant off Pacific Avenue at South Sound Center in Lacey.
Work on the nearly 2,700-square-foot branch at 3816 Pacific Ave. S.E. is expected to begin next month for a December or January opening, Trani said.
Each restaurant costs about $1.5 million to develop and employs 60 to 70 people, he said.
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Northwest Foods currently operates a Carl's Jr. restaurant in Tacoma and Covington, but in the next seven years, the company plans to open 24 more restaurants from Chehalis to Seattle, Trani said.
Next on the company's list are restaurants in either Renton or Kent, he said.
Carl's Jr. was launched in 1941 and since has grown to more than 1,000 restaurants nationwide, Northwest Foods' vice president of operations Dee Dee Larson said. Its headquarters are near Santa Barbara, Calif.
The restaurant is best known for its charbroiled hamburgers, Trani said.
The Carl's Jr. development site, however, also is the current site of a business known as Crazee Espresso, Lacey associate planner Ryan Andrews said.
Capital Development Company, which owns South Sound Center, is in discussions with the espresso stand owners to find the business a new home, senior vice president John Donaldson said.
"We're trying our very best to do that," he said.
Crazee Espresso owner Terry Ziniewicz, who is on vacation, could not immediately be reached by phone or e-mail.
Donaldson said Capital Development Company has given the espresso stand owners a list of possible new sites for the business. Some are at South Sound Center and some are not, Donaldson said.
Once Carl's Jr. opens, it will join the department store Kohl's and a Verizon Wireless store as new tenants at South Sound Center, he said.
Rolf Boone covers business for The Olympian. He can be reached at 360-754-5403 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.