Spokane Journal of Business

Golden Corral buffet restaurant to open next year in Cd'A

Vandervert to construct new $850,000 structure to suit buffet franchisee

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North Idaho restaurateurs Larry Leavitt and Paul Henderson plan to open a Golden Corral Buffet & Grill restaurant early next year in Coeur d'Alene.

The restaurant will be located at 3458 N. Fruitland Lane in the northern part of the city, west of U.S. 95 and next to a multitenant retail center that's anchored by a Super Supplements outlet, Leavitt says.

Construction of the planned 8,000-square-foot, $850,000 structure was scheduled to begin early this month at the vacant 1.5-acre lot, Leavitt says. The restaurant will open in late January or early February, depending on how winter weather conditions affect the project, he says.

The buffet will have 60 to 70 employees, Leavitt says, adding that applications for employment will be accepted through Golden Corral's main website.

CDA Enterprises LLC, which is led by Coeur d'Alene developer Paul Delay, will own the building, and Northwest Golden Buffets Inc., of Bayiew, Idaho, will lease it, Leavitt says. Leavitt is president of family-operated Northwest Golden Buffets, and Henderson is its chief operating officer and general manager.

Vandervert Construction Inc., of Spokane, is the contractor on the project. Raleigh, N.C.-based Golden Corral Corp. has provided drawings for the prototype structure that will be smaller than other Golden Corral restaurants, such as the one another franchisee operates at 7117 N. Division, on Spokane's North Side. Vandervert also is working with Russell C. Page Architects, of Spokane, to implement the design, which will include a stone exterior to complement a nearby multitenant retail center that Delay also owns at the northwest corner of U.S. 95 and Neider Avenue, Leavitt says

Wheatland Bank, of Spokane, is financing the project.

The restaurant will be visible from U.S. 95 and will have 140 parking spaces with access from Neider and from Fruitland, Leavitt says. It will seat 300 people and will have a banquet room with a seating capacity of 110.

The menu will include 150 hot and cold items, many of which will change frequently. Core items will include a complete salad bar, flame broiled sirloin steaks, and variety of other cooked meats. The restaurant also will have a bakery and dessert cafe.

The Coeur d'Alene Golden Corral will be open for lunch and dinner, Leavitt says, adding that he and Henderson are considering opening for breakfast on a trial basis to see if there's a demand for it.

The planned restaurant is the first venture for Leavitt and Henderson as Golden Corral franchisees, although Leavitt says they have six years of restaurant experience having owned a Burger King franchise in Las Vegas.

Leavitt says he's a Pacific Northwest native who was raised in the Tri-Cities and has lived in Bayview, Idaho, for seven years.

Commercial real estate agent Jim Koon, of Coeur d'Alene-based Century 21 Beutler & Associates, and broker Marshall Clark, of Spokane-based Clark Pacific Real Estate Co., handled the build-to-suit lease.

Mike McLean
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Reporter Mike McLean covers real estate and construction at the Journal of Business. A multipurpose fisherman and vintage record album aficionado, Mike has worked for the Journal since 2006.

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