The Wendy’s near downtown Charlottesville is closed, but patrons won’t have to wonder “Where’s the beef?” for long.
The location is undergoing an extensive $550,000 renovation that will see the inside and outside of the burger shop transformed before it reopens on Feb. 11, according to Jim Pike, vice president of the restaurant’s franchisee Catie Food Systems of Danville.
“The restaurant will not look the same,” Pike told The Daily Progress. “It will be fully upgraded.”
That includes removing the old brick on the outside and replacing it with new stained wood siding, he said. Surrounding sidewalks will also be removed and replaced, the parking lot resurfaced, new landscaping installed and new lights acquired, Pike added.
“Inside,” he said, “everything you would touch will be new. All new surfaces all the way around: ceiling, floors, walls.”
And most important for any restaurant, he said, the kitchen will also be getting overhauled.
“There’s not a piece of cooking equipment that isn’t going to be replaced,” Pike said.
Catie Food Systems purchased the Fourth Street Wendy’s location back 2013.
The company’s decision to invest more than half of a million dollars into the location after a decade of ownership was twofold, Pike said.
In the first place, the Wendy’s company requires it.
“Wendy’s requires you to remodel every 10 years. That is really a business decision that the franchisee makes,” Pike said. “Whether it’s done or not is really up to the franchisee, whether they want to put that kind of money into the restaurants or walk away from them.”
Which leads to the second place, Pike said. Customer interest has been strong and foot traffic has been high at the Fourth Street location. The investment, he said, was worth it for both the customers on one side of the counter and the employees working the other side.
“Business has been good, and we expect business to improve dramatically once everything has been updated,” Pike said. “We also feel good about the employees, the staff and management. That’s a significant part of this too.”
Catie Food Systems is the franchisee of the Wendy’s on Fourth Street near Downtown as well as two others in the Charlottesville area: one on Richmond Road on Pantops and one off U.S. 29 north of the city, which is currently not open.
Though Pike provided no details on when or if that third Wendy’s would ever reopen, he did provide a glimmer of hope for those hunting for a Baconator or Dave’s Double.
“We’re scheduling to refurbish those in the next couple years,” he said.
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