by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
THE QDOBA MEXICAN GRILL is under construction at the corner of Main (M-21) and Gould streets in Owosso, and could open as soon as the end of April. Southwind Restaurants, LLC, the project developer, expects workers to complete construction of the building’s exterior shell by early March, with all three retail units to be ready for interior improvements. In addition to being the owner of the property and building, Southwind will also operate the Qdoba, which will occupy the east end cap in the plaza.
Southwind is co-owned by Norm and Bob Spalding, Greg Johnroe, and Kevin Egnatuk. While the group is aiming for the final week of April for the restaurant’s grand opening, Egnatuk says the first week in June is a more realistic target date. (Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)
Residents of the greater Owosso area have been looking forward to the opening of the Qdoba Mexican Grill at the intersection of Main (M-21) and Gould streets since plans were announced in 2014, and their wishes will soon come true. Kevin Egnatuk, co-owner of project developer, Southwind Restaurants, LLC, reports the Qdoba should be ready to open by early June.
The restaurant will be the anchor business of the three-unit retail plaza Southwind is currently constructing on the site of the former Eastside Cleaners, and it will occupy the space nearest to Gould Street. Southwind originalły purchased the Eastside Cleaners property, along with three adjoining residential lots to the west. The developers are in the process of firming up rental commitments for the two additional units, and they have purchased an additional lot along M-21 to accommodate customer traffic that could be greater than originally estimated.
Much of the structural work has been completed, the parking lot has been excavated and partially constructed, and workers are finalizing the underground plumbing inside the building. The next step will be to lay the vapor barrier and the concrete slab, followed by construction of the demising walls. The store front glass would then be installed, along with the heating and cooling system, with only interior drywall and tile work to be completed to achieve the desired “White Box” finish. At that point, Qdoba and the two additional tenants could begin interior improvements.
According to Egnatuk, “If everything falls in our favor, we could be open by the end of April, but the first week of June is more realistic. At this point we can only move forward one step at a time. We have to knock one domino down before moving on to the next. We could be done with most of the structural work by the beginning of March, but you never know if the building materials will arrive on time or what kind of weather we’ll have, so a target date is tough to predict right now.”