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New Grill on the bill in Village

Ryan Carter

The first of what officials say will be three restaurants to flank

the new AMC Entertainment Village will open for business early next

year.

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Romano’s Macaroni Grill, a restaurant chain that serves everything

from wood-fired pizzas and pastas to sauvignons, will move into a

7,300-square- foot space Feb. 4, officials said. Workers have already

begun the process of developing the new space, which is at the

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northeastern corner of Magnolia Boulevard and First Street.

"[Romano’s Macaroni Grill’s] presence is very important to us,”

city redevelopment projects manager Jennifer Mack said. “This is part

of an overall revitalization of downtown Burbank. And I believe it is

going to be important for Burbank to a have a different kind of

restaurant.”

Being downtown was an important part of what attracted the

franchise, said Louis Adams, a spokesman for Brinker International,

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owner of the proposed Burbank franchise.

“There are three primary factors we look at before moving into a

location: residential population bases, strong retail traffic and

good office space locations,” Adams said. “Those offices drive a

significant amount of your lunchtime traffic.”

Adams said the new restaurant would seat nearly 300.

The restaurant will be one of three new restaurants to be opened

in the new AMC 16 complex, which is part of the AMC Entertainment

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project -- also a city redevelopment effort.

The first phase of the project was the 16-screen theater complex

that opened in June at 125 E. Palm Ave. The second phase of the

redevelopment will include retail and restaurants that will take up

30,000 square feet of additional space, officials said.

Redevelopment officials declined to talk about what other

restaurants would be going in to the complex, but AMC officials have

said Wolfgang Puck Express and Cold Stone Creamery could also become

tenants.

Mack said two other restaurants are set to sign deals to move in,

but she declined to talk about them until ink goes to paper. Leases

for those restaurants are expected to be signed within 60 days, said

Rick King, a spokesman for the Kansas City, Mo.-based AMC

Entertainment Inc.

AMC officials said the first new restaurant tenant is significant.

“It is the first of many popular, recognizable brand tenants we

think will be attracted to the facility and we think it will lead to

additional leases,” King said, declining to disclose the terms of the

lease.

“This was the plan all long, not just to have a free-standing

theater, but to have an integrated lifestyle and leisure development

that would offer movies and an opportunity to pair them with other

experiences.”


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