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2/20/16-Hot tamale: Qdoba finally makes its debut in Niagara Falls

The first of at least three Buffalo Niagara regional Qdoba Mexican Eats is slated to open on Feb. 25.
Qdoba will be opening in Benderson Development’s LaSalle Center shopping center. Qboda is one of several national fast-food chains to make come online in recent months, another example of how national retailers and restaurant operators moving into the region. Qdoba is coming to Niagara Falls in late February.

“Qdoba is extremely committed to the communities where we do business, and we are excited to introduce Western New Yorkers to the restaurant for the first time,” said Josephine Chang, Qdoba Brand Manager, New Markets.

Besides the Niagara Falls location, Qboda will be opening in other Benderson-owned plazas near the Walden Galleria in Cheektowaga and Boulevard Mall area in Amherst. A Transit Road site is also under consideration.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ: JACK), Qdboda is known for such items as a three-cheese Queso and hand-smashed guacamole.
Qdoba has been one of the most sought after national chains by local residents.
It is possible, Qboda’s local success may open the door for Jack in the Box to enter the Buffalo Niagara marketplace.

Qdoba has already established local ties, creating a partnership with Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. Between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. on its Feb. 25 opening day, 20 percent of all net sales will be donated to the hospital, officials said.

Founded in 1995, Qdoba has more than 600 restaurants in 47 states and Canada.

source: Buffalo Business First

2/3/16-Dave & Buster’s to open at Marketplace Mall

Texas-based restaurant chain Dave & Buster’s is opening its first location in Rochester at The Marketplace Mall in March.

The new restaurant will be in the old Bon-Ton site—a 33,000 square-foot space—next to Pole Position Raceway.

The new location is anticipated to add more than 200 local jobs, officials said.

“The greater Rochester area hasn’t seen anything like Dave & Buster’s before. It’s going to raise the bar as the area’s premier destination for food, games and sports,” said Robert Cirino, Dave & Buster’s general manager, in a statement.

Source: Rochester Business Journal

1/27/16-Hyatt Regency Hotel sold to local developers

The Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Rochester has been sold. Morgan Management and Christa Development are buying the property for $16 million. They’re spending another $15 million on renovations to the interior and exterior.

The deal closes next week.

“It’s going to be outside renovation, paint, LED lighting, inside redone from top to bottom,” said Bob Morgan of Morgan Management. “We plan on doing something with the restaurant, new theme. Once you do that, it will definitely turn around.”

The Hyatt had an infamous beginning in Rochester. Construction started in 1985, but halted when the developers abandoned the project. The unfinished highrise marred the city’s skyline for years. Finally, government and business leaders worked out a way to finance the deal and save the project. The hotel opened in 1992.

The Hyatt has 336 rooms and 400,000 square feet. It is not profitable right now.

“It’s a tired hotel right now. Fifteen years, nothing has been done to it. It’s been very tired,” said Morgan.

Morgan and Christa hope to do to the Hyatt what they did to the Strathallan. The renovated and expanded East Avenue hotel is now booming.

“We love the real estate. We love the location. We’re in the hotel business. We feel that there’s a need for more Class A hotels as we’ve turned the Strathallan around. There’s demand for rooms,” said Morgan.

Morgan said the Hyatt was made more attractive by the prospect of the city renovating the convention center.
Morgan believes in downtown Rochester. He’s a partner in Tower280, the former Midtown Tower, where the first residents moved in this month. He’s also a partner in Legacy Tower.

Morgan is excited about construction starting this summer on Rivers Edge apartments behind Dinosaur Bar-B-Que on Court St. and South Ave. The modern building will have 110 apartments and first-floor retail.

“I’m developing in different cities, Pittsburgh, Cleveland. I’ve watched what, how those cities have transformed and I just feel that downtown, this is the last city that has not come back,” Morgan said.

Renovations on the Hyatt should begin in about six months, after designers and architects submit plans. Thursday, the county indusutrial development agency will vote on tax breaks for the project.