So I drove by the old Sweet Tomatoes this afternoon and found this:
When I passed it this morning the building was still standing. That happened fast. Looks like phase one is complete.
I contacted Travis Doster of Texas Roadhouse media relations (that sounds way too official I know) to confirm the opening of the location. His response, “Yes we are opening in Fresno. The restaurant should open in March of next year. We will hire 170 employees.”
That’s a lot of jobs and a fairly quick build. Be on the lookout for a hiring fair.
ORIGINAL POST: I was pretty depressed when the
Salad Shooters Sweet Tomatoes closed a few months back. Okay not really but the point is it closed. I’ve been wondering if anything would take its place. With retail vacancies being what they are and the economy in a major funk, I figured either a locally owned Chinese buffet would take over or it would sit vacant for a few years.
Turns out neither is going to happen. The building is schedule for demolition and will eventually be replaced by a brand new building occupied by the Texas Roadhouse, a popular steakhouse. I noticed today they were removing the air conditioners from the roof and prepping the building for demo. The contractors on-site weren’t sure the timeline for demolition or construction.
I find it interesting that the location they chose is right down the street from an Outback Steakhouse and Tahoe Joe’s. Apparently they aren’t afraid of the competition. They have a huge presence in the Midwest and East Coast and appear to be expanding to the West. From the looks of things Texas Roadhouse should be a solid competitor.
According to their site they make all of the sides from scratch, hand-cut their steaks and serve fresh-baked bread. Sweet Tomatoes baked fresh bread too for what it’s worth. Personal feelings aside about chain restaurants, this will give the neighborhood another dining option and provide several jobs which are desperately needed. Another bonus, it’s not a Chinese buffet. Trust me on this. Fresno doesn’t need another one.