A slew of new stores and restaurants are headed for the Fresno area.
From big-name chains (hello, Hobby Lobby) to little boutiques and restaurants, there’s a lot in the works. The businesses include stores, bars, breweries, bakeries, restaurants – even a creamery selling sheep’s milk ice cream.
It can be hard to keep track of them all, so we thought we’d put them all in one place.
Now for the one question everybody asks: “When are they going to open?”
It’s also the toughest question to answer.
See, most businesses need various permits from local government agencies, which can take varying amounts of time. Even when they look like they’re ready to open, they need to pass a final inspection. If they pass, they can open right away. If they don’t pass, it’s usually because there’s something that needs to be fixed or changed, and that can take time.
All of that can make it almost impossible for a business to share a reliable opening date – and it’s why many simply don’t.
But we’ve tried to share as much information as we can. Here’s what we know about who is coming and when.
Nina’s Bakery is still planning to open in its new location at Herndon and West avenues near The Market grocery store. This is the little Armenian bakery serving fresh-baked bread, baklava and goodies like lahmajoon (Armenian pizza).
It used to be located at West and Shaw avenues. No opening date is set yet. It could be a few months, it could be less, according to one of the owners.
Nothing Bundt Cakes is planning a location at The Marketplace at El Paseo, near Highway 99 and Herndon Avenue. It’s planned for the shopping center’s next stage of construction, which is starting, but an opening could be a long way off.
This is the bakery that makes the little single-serving “bundtini” cakes, along with larger “bundtlets” and full-size bundt cakes.
La Boulangerie is still planning a second location (don’t worry, the popular Fig Garden La Bou isn’t going anywhere) inside the Pacific Southwest Building at Fulton and Mariposa streets. Owner Taj Rakkar said he’s aiming to open in late November or early December.
It will be a walk-up window serving pastries baked at the main bakery, coffee and sandwiches, with lots of outdoor tables.
BarrelHouse Brewing Co. is planning to open a taproom somewhere in Fresno. The Paso Robles-based brewery is being secretive about where, though one of the founders said it’s someplace that’s “already a hot spot.”
ISH Brewing Co. is close to opening at 2700 Clovis Ave., near Santa Ana Avenue in Clovis.
MachineHead Brewing Co. is nearing its opening at 52 W. Palo Alto Ave. in Clovis.
The 1920 building it’s in, near Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co., recently got a facelift.
Out of the Barrel is a craft beer taproom with plans to open in Fig Garden Village. It’s a second location for the business of the same name, which started in Campbell in the Pruneyard Shopping Center.
The Fresno Out of the Barrel is taking over the former We Olive olive oil shop. It will have 1,300 square feet between Talbots and The Vault Fine Jewelers, plus a patio seating about 30 people. The owner is shooting for a December opening.
Rocky Hill Brewing has a brewery in Exeter that has a liquor license application in the window of 1140 N. Van Ness Ave. That’s the building at the corner of Olive and Van Ness avenues. The owner told The Bee that it’s too early to share details.
The brewery will take over the big corner space, with the owners hoping to open by April 1.
South of Shaw will have artwork reflecting the part of Fresno that’s south of Shaw Avenue. It will serve a variety of beers, including its award-winning brut IPA, along with pizza.
It will sell craft cocktails using seasonal fruit and vegetables, and eventually have a dinner menu.
It’s aiming to open this winter.
It will have a rec room vibe with retro games and beer from 411.
An unnamed brewery is headed for the former nursery at 403 W. Olive Ave., between Fruit and Palm avenues. It will have a beer garden and taproom, said Craig Kunishige, a founder of the restaurant KuniSama.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is planning to open its first Fresno location at the corner of Fresno Street and Friant Road. The developer said the business may open in the first three months of next year.
Dutch Bros., the coffee shop that so many Fresnans are fans of, has two locations in the works.
The first to open will probably be the one under construction now at Herndon and Brawley avenues near the Tractor Supply Co. in Fresno. Dutch Bros. is shooting for a Dec. 1 opening.
That one will be on the end of a larger building, with a sit-down cafe inside, similar to the one at Palm and Herndon avenues.
Another Dutch Bros. is still in the works for Clovis, at Herndon and Fowler avenues. It is planned to be built as a stand-alone building in the Vons parking lot.
It’s taking a little longer as the owner is still going through the process of getting permits with the city. They hope to open during the first three months of 2020.
Kuppa Joy, a coffee shop owned by former NFL football player Zack Follett, is taking over a former Starbucks at Cedar and Shepherd avenues. This coffee shop will be different than other Kuppa Joys, incorporating chocolate and wine. It’s shooting for an early December opening.
Angry Chickz Nashville Hot Chicken has a “coming soon” sign up at Shaw and West avenues, next to the Round Table Pizza. Nashville hot chicken is spicy fried chicken that’s been hitting Fresno menus lately.
Ark Mediterranean Grill is planning to open a restaurant at 2230 Herndon Ave., near Armstrong Avenue and Tollhouse Road. It appears plenty of work is still to be done inside, but a liquor license application is in the window.
It will carry mostly ice cream made from sheeps’ milk (and some from cows’ milk). Sheeps’ milk ice cream has a light texture and is considered “lactose friendly” for people who are sensitive to dairy.
The ice cream comes from the Negranti Creamery in Paso Robles. The Kingsburg shop is aiming for a late November opening.
Expect a couple different kinds of ramen and a chef from Tokyo with a killer recipe for Japanese fried chicken.
Cowboy Chicken Wood Fire Rotisserie, the long-awaited restaurant opening in Fig Garden Village, has finally set an opening date: Wednesday, Oct. 16. The Dallas-based chain has all kinds of chicken on its menu. Grand-opening offers include free tea for a year to the first 100 guests in line when the restaurant opens at 11 a.m. and a drawing to win free chicken for a year.
A Cajun seafood restaurant is headed for 3050 W. Shaw Ave. at Marks Avenue. The spot is now home to Jade Garden Chinese Cuisine. The same owners are in the process of switching it to a modern, Cajun-style seafood bar.
Downtown Deli & Market is gearing up to open in November at 2621 Fresno St. in the old FinePrint building near Fresno City Hall. The deli owners are adding a kitchen.
An on-site smoker will allow the market to serve sandwiches, including creatively named ones like the “city hall meatball” or maybe the “hamtrack” because the Amtrak passes nearby. Lanna Coffee and cinnamon rolls will be on the menu, too.
Also expect shelves of local products, like honey.
Golden Corral, a national buffet restaurant, confirmed in March that it had a franchisee who was looking to open a location in Fresno. The last time the company responded to The Bee’s inquiry, Golden Corral was in negotiations for a location – the company didn’t say where – though things were going slowly due to “California market factors.”
Golden Harbour Buffet is a restaurant in the works near FoodMaxx on West Shaw Avenue near Feland Avenue. Expect it to open soon.
Fire Wings has signed a lease to open a restaurant in a future stage of The Marketplace at El Paseo, according to leases reported to The Bee by Retail California and Real Estate Portfolio, Inc.
Fire Wings is a wings and beer place with locations in Northern and Southern California.
Little Fat Dumpling is still planning to open in the old Happy Star Chinese restaurant on Palm Avenue, just south of Olive Avenue. It’s the same owners as the restaurant of the same name at Friant Road and Fresno Street that serves soup dumplings and noodles.
The other is under construction in front of the new Costco in Clovis near Shaw and Clovis avenues.
Phoever Vietnamese Cuisine is headed to the corner of Tollhouse Road and Armstrong Avenue near Herndon Avenue. It will sell pho, the Vietnamese soup, and other Asian food.
Ramen Hayashi, a Japanese ramen spot, is slated to open at Herndon and Fowler avenues in Clovis, near the new Aldi grocery store.
Right Rice Cafe, 1575 N. Palm Ave. is a little restaurant coming soon at McKinley and Palm avenues.
Robertito’s Taco Shop is planning a location with a drive-thru inside an Arco that’s under construction at Herndon and Clovis avenues in Clovis, between Carl’s Jr. and McDonald’s. There will also be a gas station and convenience store.
Shell Shock is a quick-service seafood restaurant that had locations in the Bay Area. It is taking over the former Hooter’s in Universal Park at Blackstone Avenue and El Paso avenues. Expect raw oysters, crab legs, lobster, crawfish and more.
Shobu Japanese Cuisine is slated to open at 6640 N. Blackstone Ave., the same shopping center as Imperial Garden Chinese restaurant.
Shobu is owned by Jerry Yang, a former World Series of Poker Main Event champion. He has a restaurant in Merced, Pocket 8’s Sushi & Grill, that he will close to focus on the Fresno restaurant, according to The Merced Sun-Star. The restaurant is scheduled to open in October.
Sourdough & Co. has a Clovis location listed as “coming soon” on its website. The company recently told The Bee that a licensee has signed up to open a restaurant in the city, but hadn’t found a location yet.
Starbucks is planning at least three new locations in the area. One is in the works at Blackstone and Clinton avenues near Smart & Final; that location will have a meeting room. Another is planned for the new Costco shopping center in Clovis. Both are scheduled to open “this winter.”
Taqueria Yarelis is the taco shop at Belmont Avenue and Fresno Street with the video of the 3-foot-long Anaconda burrito that went viral. A new location is in the works for Willow and Herndon avenues.
Toledo’s Mexican Restaurant closed its original North Blackstone Avenue location with the patio (and the building was torn down). But it is still planning to reopen at Cedar and Nees avenues. It will likely be at least six months until the restaurant is ready to open, according to the owner.
Qué Pasa! Mexican Cafe has signed a lease to open in a future stage of The Marketplace at El Paseo.
It was originally supposed to open in August, but that didn’t happen. The store has its permits to do construction work inside the building and work should start soon, confirmed the City of Clovis.
The other Hobby Lobby is slated for the next phase of construction at The Marketplace at El Paseo. The store has signed a lease to open a 55,000-square-foot store there. Work has just barely started so this one will take a while.
Carter’s, a children’s clothing store, is also planning a location for The Marketplace at El Paseo.
Five Below is a store where everything costs $5 or less, from practical items like headphones to T-shirts and unicorn pool floats. The retailer has a store open at Fashion Fair and at least two more coming: One at The Marketplace at El Paseo and another in the former Aaron Brothers building in River Park.
The Foundry, the Clovis-based shop selling trendy clothes, jewelry and home goods, is opening a temporary store in Fig Garden Village for the holidays. It’s expected to open Nov. 1 and will be near Starbucks.
Papaya Fresh Market is a specialty grocery store taking over the former Fresh & Easy store at Shaw and West avenues. The owner isn’t sharing details just yet, but work is chugging along inside.
Valley Food is the grocery store with hot food at Divisadero Street and Van Ness Avenue that has looked ready to open for months. The owners are staying mum, but they are continuing to work with the City of Fresno through the process of opening a new business.
Regal Cinemas is planning 49,950-square-feet of movie theaters at The Marketplace at El Paseo.
X Lanes LA is planning to open a bowling alley in the basement of Fashion Fair, a mall executive has confirmed.
Construction is underway, hence the work happening on the south side of the mall. Details are slim, however. The mall is referring questions to the company, which hasn’t returned repeated messages.
Bethany Clough: (559) 441-6431, @BethanyClough