Two Islanders and one person from off-Island are teaming up to bring an international chain restaurant to Charlottetown.
Courtney Hindorff, a spokesman with Montana’s Cookhouse & Bar, told The Guardian that the group is very close to finalizing a deal that will make it official.
Hindorff would not disclose who the potential owners are until the agreement is signed, which is expected to happen as early as the end of this week.
“It’s a very, very strong group,’’ said Hindorff, who is in charge of franchise operations for Montana’s. “We’re very excited about them.’’
Montana’s is slated to move into the list of properties owned by developer Plazacorp Retail Properties Ltd. which has been trying to find a franchisee for more than two years to bring the chain to P.E.I. Those properties are located next to Boston Pizza, just off Malpeque Road, with Sobey’s as the anchor tenant at the moment.
“I can’t give you a full update at the moment. We’re just waiting on agreements . . . but yes we feel very good about the opportunity there in Charlottetown.’’
Hindorff did say that the company is confident that the restaurant will open sometime this year, adding that plans are to operate in 6,300 square feet of retail space. There will be enough capacity for 211 seats and it will employ approximately 50 people.
One of the challenges with finding a franchisee(s) for Montana’s is the requirement that they need to have at least $700,000 in equity to start up.
While Sobey’s is the current anchor tenant, Plazacorp’s plans list 103,000 square feet of retail space currently described as “proposed future development’’. Speculation on what that property will turn into ranges from a new location for Canadian Tire/Mark’s Work Wearhouse while rumours continue to swirl about Costco putting a store in the capital, similar to the one in Fredericton.