Slowly but surely, the Stonegate Centre is turning into one of the elite places to eat in Pulaski County.
Having opened earlier this month, Texas Roadhouse is seeing packed seats on a nightly basis. And Steak ‘n Shake will be arriving just around the corner.
“Things are going real well,” said Kevin Cordell, operating partner for the local Steak ‘N Shake store. “We’ve got a building there. The glass windows and all that should go in next week sometime.”
The popular diner-style restaurant is expected to open right on target by the end of this coming February.
There’s also a big new sign out front, advertising that the Steak ‘n Shake is hiring and looking for an “amazing staff.” Those interested should call 505-219-4880, ext. 102.
Cordell said the store will likely open with “close to a hundred” employees, specifically called production and service associates. They’re actively looking right now to hire team leaders.
“The management staff has been hired, but we need supervisors,” he said.
Cordell noted that the buzz around the restaurant’s arrival “has been very strong” and “very positive.” People have had nearly a year to talk about it, and those who go to eat at Steak ‘n Shake when in Lexington or Richmond are eagerly awaiting its arrival in their own backyard.
“Steak ‘n Shake was formed in 1934, so it’s taken almost 80 years to get to Somerset,” he said, “so people should be excited.”
The restaurant, known for its hamburgers, fries, and of course milkshakes, currently has over 500 stores throughout the Midwest and all the way into Florida, and throughout the Southeast. Cordell said stores are now open in Texas and Denver, and Steak ‘n Shake has even gone international, opening its first store in the Middle-Eastern city of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.
Cordell said the store will probably have a soft opening in February, with a wider campaign and grand opening in March.
Brook Ping, the develop behind the Stonegate Centre, has been “very pleased” both with the progress on Steak ‘n Shake, and the overwhelming response Texas Roadhouse has received since opening on December 9.
“The biggest impact to me is the economic impact of employing 170-plus people in this community,” said Ping of Texas Roadhouse.
He also says it helps in luring other potential businesses to the shopping center, located at stoplight no. 16A on South U.S. 27, next to Grand Central Place.
“Business attracts other business,” he said. “There’s no doubt about that.”
Ping said he’s talked to other businesses that could eventually locate in Stonegate if things go well — some he was in communication with back around the time the Steak ‘n Shake deal was finalized, and other, newer talks — but nothing firm yet and nothing he could discuss.
“Those are still on the table,” he said of the older discussions. “There are some new opportunities.”