Chick-Fil-A Planning Restaurant near Lindale

By Dave DeWitte, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -Chick-fil-A may build a new restaurant at the former site of Ruby Tuesday's near Lindale Mall.

The restaurant at 217 Collins Road NE would have indoor seating for 140 and outdoor seating for 28 in addition to a drive-through, according to a preliminary site plan filed with the City of Cedar Rapids.

The plans indicate demolition of the existing restaurant and a new 4,866 square foot building with a drive-through along its west side and 80-plus car parking lot on its east side.

The fast food chain known for its whimsical "Eat mor chikin" advertising campaign has long operated a store at the Westdale Mall food court. It has not operated a freestanding restaurant in Cedar Rapids, however.

The location will be leased from SDG Macerich, which owns Lindale Mall.

"In the 11 years I've been here, they have been one of the most requested merchants," said Lisa Rowe, senior marketing manager of Lindale Mall.

Rowe said plans call for the Chick-fil-A to open later in 2012, possibly during the third quarter.

The site on Collins Road NE currently has a 7,794 square foot restaurant building that was built in 1985. It housed a Chi-Chi's Mexican restaurant until damaged by fire in March 2001. Prandium, the restaurant chain that owned Chi-Chi's, restored the location the following year as a trial concept called Mesquite Beach "beach Mex" restaurant. It closed after only four months.

The restaurant served brief stints as a Mondo's Tomato Pie and a Bonehead's Bar & Grill before it was converted to Ruby Tuesday's about four years ago. It closed earlier this year.

Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A is the nation's second-largest chicken restaurant, specializing in chicken sandwiches and nuggets. The chain's menu also includes breakfast sandwiches, breakfast burritos, wraps, sandwiches and salads.

Company officials did not respond to a request for comment on the planned restaurant.
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