Bethany Clough

New construction in Fresno/Clovis: Starbucks is coming, but what about Chick-fil-A?

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Ever wonder what that building under construction is going to be? You’re not alone.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a story about some construction sites I was wondering about that will eventually become Starbucks, Panda Express and gas stations in high-profile locations.

I also asked readers if they had any mystery construction sites they were wondering about. They sure did. Plenty of people messaged me with questions about sites across Fresno and Clovis.

Here’s what I found when I did a little sleuthing.

Central Fresno

Some of you in central Fresno have been asking about the building under construction at Clinton and Blackstone avenues. It’s on the site of the former Happy Steak restaurant, across the street from Smart & Final.

It’s a Starbucks.

The 2,400-square-foot coffee shop will have indoor seating, a drive-thru and employ 25 to 30 people, according to the company.

It will also have a conference room that can be reserved.

And in what appears to be a nod to the neighborhood, Starbucks said in its email that “internal design elements throughout the store will be reminiscent of the historic ‘Tower District’ area.”

It will open sometime this winter.

A Clovis corner

There’s a dirt lot near the northeast corner of Herndon and Clovis avenues, between Carl’s Jr. and McDonald’s. Some machines are moving dirt – and a ton of readers are wondering what will be built there.

First the bad news: It won’t be a Chick-fil-A. This rumor has been floating around Clovis for years because at one time, it sounded like that street was going to get one.

But the company says it isn’t planning anything for Clovis right now and city officials confirmed there’s no applications filed for any sort of permits related to the restaurant.

Chick-fil-A didn’t rule out a location in Clovis though.

When contacted, a company spokeswoman said, via email: “We are always evaluating potential new locations in the hopes of serving existing and new customers great food with remarkable service. We would very much like to have a restaurant in the Clovis area, but we have no new locations to confirm at this time.”

So what will be built there?

It will be an Arco gas station with a convenience store and a Robertito’s restaurant, according to Dwight Kroll, Clovis’s director of planning and development services.

The Robertito’s will have a drive-thru.

There’s already a Chevron gas station two doors down on the actual corner. The new one under construction is at the very beginning stages of moving dirt around, so it will be many weeks or months before it’s built.

Added Kroll: “They don’t have a liquor license, so they would have to come back at a later point in time for (the OK to sell) beer and wine.”

At Campus Pointe

A new building is nearly finished at Campus Pointe, the shopping center next to Fresno State with Maya Cinemas.

Just west of Farm Fresh Bowls, it will be home to the Kennel Marketplace. That’s a partnership between Follett Higher Education Group and the Kennel Bookstore that will take up 11,000 square feet.

The store will sell Fresno State clothing, gifts, and supplies for students and others. It is expected to open in August.

A Starbucks kiosk is also coming to the spot, operated by University Dining Services.

By BC’s Pizza

A new building is being tacked onto the side of BC’s Pizza & Beer on Shaw Avenue near Sunnyside Avenue, across the street from Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis. It looks like an expansion, but it’s not.

The building under construction will be an Aspen Dental, said Brenda S. Benter, a senior vice president of leasing at Red Mountain Group, which handles leasing for the Sierra Pavilions Shopping Center.

Aspen Dental is a company that has more than 600 offices nationwide, which are owned and operated by local dentists. Most offices offer teeth cleaning, fillings, root canals, emergency dental services, dentures and other dental services.

Aspen Dental is scheduled to open in September or October.

The center also has another empty building that is up for rent, the former Sleep Train space. The 8,000-square-foot spot can be subdivided into smaller business spaces.

“We would love to have a restaurant, a day spa, or even a medical use in this location,” Benter said.

Southeast Fresno

A building is under construction on Ventura Avenue, a little west of Cedar Avenue and next door to the Family Dollar.

It will be a Taco Bell, confirmed the City of Fresno.

The restaurant is seeking permission to build a drive-thru.

Taco Bell did not return a message about when the location would open.

Bethany Clough covers restaurants and retail for The Fresno Bee. A reporter for 20 years, she now works to answer readers’ questions about business openings, closings and other business news. She has a degree in journalism from Syracuse University and her last name is pronounced Cluff.