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Restaurant Development in NW Arkansas

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I know this has been discussed  on this thread several times but I’ve always wonder why Arkansas don’t have a Cheesecake Factory by now. They are planning on opening a location in Chattanooga, Tn whose metro population is smaller than Little Rock or Northewest Arkansas population. I’ve talked to their real estate partner a couple of months ago who made some lame excuse about lack of dense population and income, however, I find it ironic that Memphis, whose population is larger but have an average income similar or lower than Little Rock and definitely Northwest Arkansas income, has a location in a mall where fights and shooting occurred quite often.  Personally, I think the company just don’t want to put a location in Arkansas and is making excuses as to why there shouldn’t be one here. I think people from Arkansas needs to stop dining at their locations and dine at other local establishments  when traveling to other cities where the food is just as good if not better.

Edited by ecity3138

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I wouldn't lose any sleep if a Cheesecake Factory never opened in Arkansas.  I can think of plenty of places I would rather eat.  I'm not a fan of any place that has a 20 page book for a menu that is full of mediocre food choices.  But a lot of people like to eat there, so different strokes for different folks.

I noticed that the Chattanooga location is going in a renovated Sears.  Maybe something like that in the vacated Sears at the Northwest Arkansas Mall would work?  Pinnacle would probably be the first choice though.

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4 hours ago, laketrout said:

I wouldn't lose any sleep if a Cheesecake Factory never opened in Arkansas.  I can think of plenty of places I would rather eat.  I'm not a fan of any place that has a 20 page book for a menu that is full of mediocre food choices.  But a lot of people like to eat there, so different strokes for different folks.

I noticed that the Chattanooga location is going in a renovated Sears.  Maybe something like that in the vacated Sears at the Northwest Arkansas Mall would work?  Pinnacle would probably be the first choice though.

Everyone opinion on taste bud is different although I must say their food is nothing special and their signature cheesecakes are horribly overpriced ($8.99 for one dang slice of cheesecake is ridiculous!). Why would people from Arkansas patronage a restaurant chain who basically said people in this state can’t afford to dine at their establishment? They basically ignored dozens and dozens of requests about an Arkansas location despite them saying your requests has been forwarded to the appropriate department. Their real estate partner makes every excuse it is not to locate here. The mall where the Cheesecake Factory planning on opening in Chattanooga is not upscale and features stores that we already have (ex: Belks).  I’m actually surprised they chose that mall along with Chattanooga as part of their long term expansion plan. 

Edited by ecity3138

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14 hours ago, ecity3138 said:

I know this has been discussed  on this thread several times but I’ve always wonder why Arkansas don’t have a Cheesecake Factory by now. They are planning on opening a location in Chattanooga, Tn whose metro population is smaller than Little Rock or Northewest Arkansas population. I’ve talked to their real estate partner a couple of months ago who made some lame excuse about lack of dense population and income, however, I find it ironic that Memphis, whose population is larger but have an average income similar or lower than Little Rock and definitely Northwest Arkansas income, has a location in a mall where fights and shooting occurred quite often.  Personally, I think the company just don’t want to put a location in Arkansas and is making excuses as to why there shouldn’t be one here. I think people from Arkansas needs to stop dining at their locations and dine at other local establishments  when traveling to other cities where the food is just as good if not better.

It doesn't make sense that they would purposely shun the state of Arkansas ... the two main metro areas (Central Arkansas and Northwest Arkansas) must not meet certain criteria they look for in new locations and it most likely could be population.  Northwest Arkansas just recently crossed over 500,000 people and from what I understand, that is the population threshold to reach before many will even consider an area for expansion regardless of other factors.

As far as Chattanooga - that city is undergoing great change - almost a Nashville like 'evolution' so I can see why The Cheesecake Factory would choose the area. Plus, Chattanooga has a solid year-round tourism draw with Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls and the Tennessee Aquarium and the Volkswagen assembly plant has made a major impact on the regions economy.

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1 hour ago, OzarkSingleSpeed said:

It doesn't make sense that they would purposely shun the state of Arkansas ... the two main metro areas (Central Arkansas and Northwest Arkansas) must not meet certain criteria they look for in new locations and it most likely could be population.  Northwest Arkansas just recently crossed over 500,000 people and from what I understand, that is the population threshold to reach before many will even consider an area for expansion regardless of other factors.

As far as Chattanooga - that city is undergoing great change - almost a Nashville like 'evolution' so I can see why The Cheesecake Factory would choose the area. Plus, Chattanooga has a solid year-round tourism draw with Lookout Mountain, Ruby Falls and the Tennessee Aquarium and the Volkswagen assembly plant has made a major impact on the regions economy.

I tend to disagree because Chattanooga population (179,139 according to Wikipedia as of 2017)  is much smaller than Little Rock population (193,000) and the mall they locating at is nothing special (ex: no Apple Store, Macy’s, Nordstrom, because obviously it’s a small market for them) and just a typical mall. I actually spoke with their real estate partners many times and each time they make some sort of excuse not to come here. Little Rock and Central Arkansas obviously meet the population requirements (200,000 population is required) and income (especially in Northwest Arkansas) is much higher than Chattanooga and Memphis alone. As I mentioned previously, I am surprised the Cheesecake Factory would locate in a small market regardless of the tourism, attractions, etc that city has to offer. If that’s the case, then the Pinnacle Hills Promenade should have been have one since it’s near the world largest retailer headquarters (Wal-Mart) who have billions of dollars in profit.

Thats why I encourage people not to dine at any of their establishments because it’s obvious they turn their nose up on Arkansas. Dave and Buster’s typically required a population of 1,000,000 which is much stricter than what Cheesecake Factory required but there’s two in Arkansas (one in Pinnacle Hills Promenade and one near the Outlets of Little Rock). So there’s no excuse.

Edited by ecity3138

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I was in Des Moines last weekend, and for better or for worse, we ate at their Cheesecake Factory.  While I think it's easy to cite certain metrics (like population and income), there are a lot of factors that go into decisions like this.  For example, Des Moines proper is exactly the size of Little Rock, but its metro is SMALLER by 100,000 people (±650,000 vs. 750,000).  That being said, its growth is accelerating this decade, and there are a LOT of corporate headquarters (financial/insurance) in the market and a very vibrant downtown (for example, a 40 story mixed-use high-rise is planned downtown that includes a Hotel 21c).  In Iowa, a state very similar to Arkansas, Des Moines is sort of like a combination of Little Rock and NWA.

A specific factor to the Cheesecake Factory:  Des Moines did about 15 years ago what Little Rock did not..and that is either by design or by chance, the city developed ONE MAJOR retail center, whereas Little Rock developed four (4) medium size developments that all competed with one another (with higher-end retailers splitting on locations), and now in the past three years, have added the large Outlets of Little Rock (at I-30 and I-430).  If the Cheesecake Factory (or some other similar franchise) were considering Little Rock, even today, they would have no clear cut choice on where to locate.  NWA I think has a clearer choice with the Promenade in Rogers, but the total population is on the lower end.

p.s.  Des Moines also has a Trader Joe's...though I'll admit I don't understand the fascination with having one.

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15 hours ago, Architect said:

I was in Des Moines last weekend, and for better or for worse, we ate at their Cheesecake Factory.  While I think it's easy to cite certain metrics (like population and income), there are a lot of factors that go into decisions like this.  For example, Des Moines proper is exactly the size of Little Rock, but its metro is SMALLER by 100,000 people (±650,000 vs. 750,000).  That being said, its growth is accelerating this decade, and there are a LOT of corporate headquarters (financial/insurance) in the market and a very vibrant downtown (for example, a 40 story mixed-use high-rise is planned downtown that includes a Hotel 21c).  In Iowa, a state very similar to Arkansas, Des Moines is sort of like a combination of Little Rock and NWA.

A specific factor to the Cheesecake Factory:  Des Moines did about 15 years ago what Little Rock did not..and that is either by design or by chance, the city developed ONE MAJOR retail center, whereas Little Rock developed four (4) medium size developments that all competed with one another (with higher-end retailers splitting on locations), and now in the past three years, have added the large Outlets of Little Rock (at I-30 and I-430).  If the Cheesecake Factory (or some other similar franchise) were considering Little Rock, even today, they would have no clear cut choice on where to locate.  NWA I think has a clearer choice with the Promenade in Rogers, but the total population is on the lower end.

p.s.  Des Moines also has a Trader Joe's...though I'll admit I don't understand the fascination with having one.

I agree with you. Little Rock most likely fit their criteria in terms of population, however, the lack of a major shopping development is one of the factors for chains such as Joe’s Crab Shack as well as Cheesecake Factory not to locate in Arkansas. Had Little Rock let Simon built Summit Mall on the site where the failed Shackleford Crossing occupies, we would have business like these come to LR. That’s one of the reason why Cheesecake Factory chose Chattanooga as their next restaurant opening  over Arkansas due to the Hamilton Place shopping mall being the only major shopping area in town despite the population slightly smaller than Little Rock.  

 

The Promenade At Chenal should have been built where the Shackleford Crossing area or the Outlet of Little Rock currently occupied rather than in a less dense part of the city. The real estate partner actually told me the lack of dense population was among the factor for the chain not to consider Arkansas as part of their expansion plan. The Pinnacle Hills Promenade would have been perfect for one but the population is not dense enough for at least to be consider for a possible location.

 

Edited by ecity3138
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On 8/7/2018 at 6:03 PM, ecity3138 said:

I tend to disagree because Chattanooga population (179,139 according to Wikipedia as of 2017)  is much smaller than Little Rock population (193,000) and the mall they locating at is nothing special (ex: no Apple Store, Macy’s, Nordstrom, because obviously it’s a small market for them) and just a typical mall. I actually spoke with their real estate partners many times and each time they make some sort of excuse not to come here. Little Rock and Central Arkansas obviously meet the population requirements (200,000 population is required) and income (especially in Northwest Arkansas) is much higher than Chattanooga and Memphis alone. As I mentioned previously, I am surprised the Cheesecake Factory would locate in a small market regardless of the tourism, attractions, etc that city has to offer. If that’s the case, then the Pinnacle Hills Promenade should have been have one since it’s near the world largest retailer headquarters (Wal-Mart) who have billions of dollars in profit.

Thats why I encourage people not to dine at any of their establishments because it’s obvious they turn their nose up on Arkansas. Dave and Buster’s typically required a population of 1,000,000 which is much stricter than what Cheesecake Factory required but there’s two in Arkansas (one in Pinnacle Hills Promenade and one near the Outlets of Little Rock). So there’s no excuse.

A much more important population metric is the total MSA (rather than city population proper) - in that regard, Chattanooga is the exact same size as NWA (±528,000), and 200,000 less than LR-NLR-Conway MSA.

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10 hours ago, Architect said:

A much more important population metric is the total MSA (rather than city population proper) - in that regard, Chattanooga is the exact same size as NWA (±528,000), and 200,000 less than LR-NLR-Conway MSA.

Still don’t justify why would a chain who is known to locate in major metropolitan areas would open in a smaller market than Little Rock ( the city population is slightly larger than Chattanooga not including the MSA) or Nortwest Arkansas greater population. Nothing against Chattanooga, but the city doesn’t even some big city chains that we have already such as Apple, Container Store, or Dave and Buster’s (there’s two in Arkansas already) whose population requirements are much stricter than Cheesecake Factory’s requirements.

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Looking through the City of Fayetteville planning projects site and it looks like Fayetteville will be getting a Torchy's Tacos on MLK.  This is the same location that a second Panera Bread was supposed to be located.  Not sure what happened on that.   I have not personally been to one but they are scattered in the mostly larger cities in Texas, Oklahoma and one in Denver.  

Here is a link to the website:  Torchy's Tacos

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