Springfield-based franchisee Burrito Concepts LLC is resuscitating a vacant Fuddruckers building in Joplin to make way for the first Qdoba Mexican Grill in the city.
Burrito Concepts has inked a lease with Mark McPherson of Equity Ventures in Topeka, Kan., on the shopping center site at 1302 W. Seventh St.
Randy Allen, co-owner of Burrito Concepts, said the site would house a Qdoba Mexican Grill by October.
The Springfield company is co-owned by Allen, Wayne Morelock and Kenny Ross. Morelock and Ross have been business partners for more than 30 years, and the two own 28 companies in the tri-state region, including Springfield contracting and construction firm Morelock-Ross Builders Inc.
Allen said Burrito Concepts – which owns 11 other Qdoba restaurants in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma – has been considering a spot in the Joplin market for about four years but delayed plans citing concerns about penetrating a new market.
“Joplin is a separate demographic marketing area altogether, so it took us a little while to be in a position where we’re ready to tackle a new market,” he said. “(Qdoba) is not a McDonald’s, it’s not a Panera Bread. … It’s something that we’re creating in that market from scratch.”
And while Allen said his partners were aware of the failure of Fuddruckers to gain a foothold in the market through that location, they believe the site has promise.
“We’re very sold on this particular location because of its proximity to the mall and its easy access,” he said. “And we think also it will just get better as Seventh Street becomes a more predominant thoroughfare.”
He said an increase in demand due to the loss of retail businesses in the wake of the May 22 tornado also will play a part in the company’s staying power.
“We’ll provide a very needed service to the people of Joplin, plus a lot of the relief workers that come to Joplin each day,” he said. “I think that will help the market.”[[In-content Ad]]