There is potential movement in the Argenta Hills development of Inver Grove Heights. A fast casual restaurant has shown interest in opening in one of the available buildings in the development near the Inver Grove Heights Target, located off Highway 55 and South Robert Trail/Highway 3.
What we do know: A source has confirmed with Eat IGH that a fast casual restaurant is interested in opening a location in the Argenta Hills development. This is a different restaurant than Wingstop, which indicated last week they are considering IGH and WSP for expansion.
This restaurant would be about 2,500 square feet and is described as “very fresh and progressive, with a contemporary buildout. They serve alcohol and also offer outdoor seating.”
Here is what is also interesting: This would be this specific restaurants second location. Now we would need to narrow it down to a fast casual restaurant that only has one location in Minnesota right now to get clarity on who it may be.
Fast casual restaurants are exploding in popularity. A fast casual restaurant is a type of restaurant that does not offer full table service, but promises a higher quality of food with fewer frozen or processed ingredients than other fast food restaurants. Fortune Magazine described fast casual restaurants in this manner: “Fast-casual dining is an increasingly popular format that has won over consumers who tend to avoid fast-food and casual dining restaurant chains. Consumers, in particular millennials, prefer fast-casual chains because they sell higher quality meals (at least that’s their perception) at a relatively affordable price point of $8-$10 per meal. Also, there’s no table service and customers can see their meals prepped at a counter close to where they place their orders.”
Panera Bread is the #1 ranked fast casual restaurant in the United States according to FastCasual.com. Blaze Pizza, Pie Five Pizza, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Shake Shack, Zoe’s Kitchen, Sweet Green, Jersey’s Mikes Subs, Starbucks and Native Foods Cafe round out the top 10 fast casual restaurants on the list. Chipotle comes in ranked as the No. 11 fast casual restaurant in the United States. Other restaurants on the Fast Casual Top 75 list that are already in the Twin Cities market are Smashburger, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Jason’s Deli, Panda Express, Bruegger’s Bagels, Which Which Sandwiches, Noodles and Company and Raising Cane’s.
This isn’t speculation that any of these are the restaurants considering Argenta Hills, but this is simply an example of the type of fast casual restaurants that are popular in the United States. There are hundreds more that fit the fast casual mold. And remember this: The Inver Grove Heights location would only be the second location for this fast casual restaurant. None of the above fit.
But here is the kicker: There is no lease signed, and it’s not final. And in real estate, and the restaurant industry, things can fall apart fast, and take time. Especially in the restaurant industry. Look how long it’s taking 1.2.3 Pasta to open in Inver Grove Heights.
But, like was reported last week about Wingstop’s interest in pursuing an Inver Grove Heights location, there is interest. There is also interest from a variety of businesses in the old Rainbow Foods location in Inver Grove Heights.
It’s fun speculating on a number of other potential restaurants who would fit the description of a fast casual restaurant that is fresh and progressive, and looking to open their second location. But, in Inver Grove Heights, if one restaurant or grocery store name gets mentioned as a possibility, it sticks, and people will suddenly head out to Facebook and say “I thought Trader Joe’s was coming to Inver Grove Heights” and then blame the city for something not coming, when it was never coming in the first place.
False rumors get started – fast. And spread, through social media, fast.
And what’s most important to remember about all of this is, nothing is final in real estate until that lease, or final paperwork, is signed. This is no different. But there is interest in Inver Grove Heights. And Argenta Hills. And it’s progress – something we’ve all been waiting for.
Now we wait and wonder? Who could it be? And, will it actually happen?