A chain of Tex-Mex restaurants is expanding its presence in Colorado to Colorado Springs.
Austin-based Chuy’s plans to open next spring in the Highlands at the Briargate retail and commercial hub, under development southwest of Briargate Parkway and Chapel Hills Drive.
The restaurant located at the far north of the Springs will be Chuy’s fourth in Colorado; it has restaurants in Lakewood and Westminster and will be opening one at the Denver Tech Center in late June, the company said via email.
Chuy’s, founded in 1982, owns and operates 95 full-service restaurants in 19 states, according to the company’s website.
Chuy’s describes its menu as “authentic, made from scratch Tex-Mex inspired dishes,” using family recipes from “Texas, New Mexico and the Mexican border towns.” Its restaurants offer an “eclectic and irreverent” atmosphere that varies from site to site.
In Colorado Springs, Chuy’s is planning a 7,260-square-foot independent restaurant with a 1,078-square-foot patio on the northeast corner of the Highlands in Briargate, an email from the company said. The restaurant will employ around 170 people.
When asked to explain their interest in Colorado Springs, the company cited a summary of the city’s demographics, population growth, leading institutions such as the Air Force Academy and the University of Colorado to Colorado Springs, and its strong tourism industry.
“We are currently focusing on the Highland location, but be aware that Colorado Springs is a great market that could accommodate more than one Chuy’s,” the company’s email said.
The Highlands at Briargate are developed on nearly 43 acres east of the Focus on the Family campus. Focus and The Keith Corp., a North Carolina-based commercial real estate company, have formed a joint venture to develop the project.
The addition of Chuy’s – a new restaurant in the market – helps shine a light on the Highlands in Briargate, said Graeme Keith III of The Keith Corp.
“It was a huge blow for us,” Keith said. “It’s a great concept. The first on the market is a testament to the strength of our site and our location. In many magazines and restaurant articles, Chuy’s is regularly listed as one of the hottest new concepts. For us it was great to have them. “
Einstein Bros. Bagels and Caribou Coffee, as well as a Verizon store, have opened in Highlands in Briargate. Smashburger and Basil & Barley, a local Neapolitan pizzeria, will open at the end of the summer, Keith said.
Other users coming to Highlands in Briargate will include the 40,000 square foot Highlands Medical Group, Legend Senior Living Center and Massage Heights, which offers massages, facials and other services.
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