Carl's Jr. Kenai plans progressing

Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2005

A Carl's Jr. restaurant is slated to open, at the earliest, by the end of the summer at 10640 Kenai Spur Highway in Kenai, said Debra Kinn, franchisee of Carl's Jr. in Alaska.

This is the former location of Burger King.

Remodeling needs to be done to the building to meet Carl's Jr.'s standards, Kinn said, adding that this will probably start next month.

So far there are three Carl's Jr.'s in Alaska, all of which Kinn is the franchisee. Two are in Anchorage and one is in Wasilla.

"I think we've gotten a tremendous amount of feedback that people just really like the food," Kinn said.

She said she is always looking for good locations for a new Carl's Jr. When Burger King closed, she said she saw an opportunity.

"It just meets a lot of the criteria that we're looking for," she said. For example, there is a good flow of traffic by the building, she said.

The Burger Kings in Kenai and Soldotna were two of 15 franchises statewide that closed when owner Larry Baker filed for bankruptcy for his Anchorage-based company, Northwest Restaurants. The building in Kenai was then purchased by Kinn.

"The exciting thing about this is they're going into an existing building," said Tim Navarre, co-chair of the Kenai Economic Development Strategy working group.

This reiterates the fact that Kenai will continue to have a strong presence despite Agrium's closure and other issues, he said. Navarre said Kenai already has a strong retail market but hopes this is the start of a stronger retail corps in the city center.

Roy Wells, president of the Kenai Chamber of Commerce, expressed excitement over the restaurant and said it will give residents another place to eat. He said it will also be good to have another restaurant in town prior to the Arctic Winter Games.

"It will give some additional options to the city," Wells said. "It just helps us to showcase the Kenai area."

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