Moreno Valley adds Golden Corral buffet to menu at fast-growing restaurant – press enterprise

Golden Corral returns to the Moreno Valley.

And it can breathe new life into a struggling and dilapidated mall.

Grace Su, who runs one of Pomona’s popular buffet restaurants, is working to bring a franchise to a building north of Freeway 60 at Day Street.

Su plans to get the required municipal permits by mid-August and start renovating soon after. It aims for an opening in December.

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Grace Su plans to open a Golden Corral restaurant in December, in this building in the Canyon Springs Mall in Moreno Valley. The gymnastics training center currently in the building is moving, officials said. (Photo by Frank Bellino, collaborating photographer)

City Councilor Jeffrey Giba, who represents this part of town, said he was confident the restaurant would be successful.

Giba remembers taking her parents many times, while her father was still alive, to a Golden Corral in Kingman, Arizona.

“Great food, great home cooking, affordable and the public wants it,” he said in a text message.

Moreno Valley Economic Development Manager Michele Patterson said the restaurant will join Alamilla’s Mexican Food, Fatburger, Mountain Mike’s Pizza, Woody’s Brewhouse, Café Rio, The Habit Burger Grill and Waba Grill – restaurants that recently opened in the city. or who are preparing for.

“We see this as an indication of our growth in both housing and in the daytime population,” Patterson said.

In the past, restaurants in the Moreno Valley had to overcome a handicap: so many residents moved out of town to work that the population crumbled during the day.

“Our restaurants cannot survive on dinner service alone,” Patterson said.

Now they don’t have to, she said.

She said the city created 14,000 jobs in four years, boosting the lunchtime market.

Su said Golden Corral will take over an 11,000 square foot building in the Canyon Springs Mall occupied by a gymnastics training facility that will move to another location in the center.

On Thursday July 26, the parking lot in front of the building was largely empty of cars and lined with broken glass. A dilapidated entrance blanket sported peeling paint.

“This, we are going to demolish it,” Su said of the cover.

The building will be revamped inside and out, she said, and neon lights will dress the four exterior walls.

“It will be a lot different,” she said.

Inside, guests will be able to get an all-you-can-eat buffet with 150 items, for around $ 11 at lunch and $ 15 at dinner, Su said.

Karyn Gustafson, who oversees the rental of the Canyon Springs Mall on behalf of property manager Atlas Properties, said the center was on the rise and the vacancy rate was between 20 and 25%.

The center has its strengths. It has restaurants serving Mexican and Indian dishes, a trampoline park, small markets and other businesses. But the centre’s cinema, which is not run by Atlas Properties, has been vacant for years. And the broken glass and discolored paint near the Golden Corral site are a strong indication that the center has seen better days.

“When it first opened, it was a premier shopping center,” said Gustafson. “Then we had new growth, of course, on the other side of the highway. “

A sign at the entrance to Canyon Springs Mall in Moreno Valley announces the expected arrival of a Golden Corral restaurant. The owner plans to open in December. (Photo by David Downey, staff)

Su said she first looked for space on the south side, along Day Street, which has turned into a bustling row of restaurants. But she couldn’t find enough.

It turned out to be a blessing. Not only did Su find plenty of space to the north, but she found a spot with exceptional visibility on the highway.

Not to mention, she says, that on the south side “the rent is three times higher”.

Christophe Thornberg, UC Riverside Center director for Economic Forecasting said the surge in restaurant arrivals underscores the strength of Moreno Valley’s economy.

“The Moreno Valley was becoming a kind of joke in the Empire of the Interior. She and the town of San Bernardino were pretty much the lowest bars in the area, ”Thornberg said, noting that the downturn and the housing crisis have devastated the community.

At the start of the recession in 2008, the city had 28,000 jobs, he said. Then he lost thousands. Today, he said, the local economy supports more than 42,000 jobs

“Moreno Valley is definitely open for business,” Thornberg said. ” He is hungry.

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