In case there was any doubt left in anyone’s mind that the Ridge Road corridor between Maple and Kellogg is the hottest restaurant area in the city at the moment, here’s further proof:
Doug Wessley is opening a Cold Stone Creamery, Rocky Mountain Express and LaMar’s Donuts Express just down from where the new Twin Peaks recently opened.
“Man, I’m telling you, everybody’s down there,” Wessley says.
“Everybody” includes Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches and Wingstop in the same center where Wessley is opening his businesses. That’s south of Lowe’s on the west side of Ridge Road.
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The center is across Ridge Road from a number of established restaurants, including Carlos O’Kelly’s, Panera Bread, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, Applebee’s and IHOP. Pie Five Pizza also recently opened there. Abuelo’s will be opening at the northeast corner of Taft and Ridge Road, which is south of Panera, this spring.
McAlister’s Deli, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Outback Steakhouse also are around the Maple and Ridge intersection.
“It’s just growing so fast,” Wessley says. “Traffic-wise, it’s just a huge area.”
He noticed something was missing, though.
“There’s not what I would call a real dessert place along that corridor,” Wessley says. “I figured it just made sense.”
Cold Stone sells ice cream, and Rocky Mountain Express has desserts such as caramel-dipped apples, chocolate-dipped strawberries and bananas and cheesecake.
“We’re trying to get more into the chocolate,” Wessley says. “We’re in the process of trying to get that figured out.”
His express LaMar’s will have coffee and cappuccino in addition to doughnuts.
Wessley also has Cold Stone stores at NewMarket Square at 21st and Maize Road and near 29th and Rock Road. The NewMarket location has a Rocky Mountain Express as well. Wessley also owns three full-size LaMar’s Donuts stores.
He hopes to open his new businesses by March 1.
Curt Robertson of InSite Real Estate Group handled the deal for the 1,505-square-foot space.
With Wessley’s lease, the retail center is almost full.
“I am pleased to report we are 92 percent occupied,” says InSite’s Dan Unruh.
He says there is 1,346 square feet left to lease between Wingstop and Cold Stone. There’s also a Great Clips at the center.
Unruh isn’t surprised at the number of restaurants that have been attracted to the area. He says he expected it.
He says it’s a mature shopping district with 70,000 cars a day passing by on Kellogg.
“You also have the benefit of several national hotels,” he says.
Combined, he says, it creates “a constant demand both for lunch and dinner trade.”
Any doubt left? Unruh suggests driving the area around lunch or dinner to check out the crowds at the restaurants that have already opened.
“You can see that the market has really responded to the product that is available there.”