TYLER (KYTX) - Soon, you'll have more choices to dine-out in East Texas. Several new restaurant chains, popular in Dallas, Austin and Houston will be opening in Tyler next year.
Tyler Area Chamber President/CEO Tom Mullins says, "They see Tyler as a positive place to invest."
Robert Owens, who is opening up Corner Bakery Cafe believes it's worth the risk even in a soft economy. "This casual dining niche is doing well," says Owens. The owners of Traditions are starting a new tradition. "We felt like this concept of Corner Bakery Cafe would be great concept to complement what we are doing."
Robert Owens says 2008 and 2009 were rough years in the restaurant business, but things are turning around. They're preparing to open 2 East Texas corner bakery cafes and six more over the next five years in Texas and Louisiana. "Probably 40 employees per store," says Owens. "So that's a lot of job growth for this area."
The old Bennigan's in Tyler was chosen as the first location for Corner Bakery Cafe because of it's close proximity Tyler's 2 colleges and the hospital district."
"I think if restaurants are coming like that," says Mary Collins. "I think it's a good thing for Tyler." Andree Laymance says "I think we need them. There's a lot more people coming in. We need new restaurants."
It's not just Corner Bakery, BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse is also starting construction in Tyler near the mall. The vacant Brass Lion building will also coming down, replaced by Chuy's. Representatives with Chuy's tell CBS 19 they're excited about opening in Tyler because it's a great restaurant community.
Tyler Chamber President and CEO Tom Mullins says the new restaurants make a good statement about East Texas. "They're not going to move to an area they feel is declining in population or not growing economically," says Mullins.
As for the new chains coming to East Texas, most of them expect to open in 2011 in the late spring or early summer.