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UPDATE: Chick-fil-A move to Bellevue a surprise for Denny's franchisee
Chick-fil-A may have little to say about its plans for a future Bellevue location, but it was news to Northwestern Foods LLC, which had been trying for months to get a lease renewed for its Denny's restaurant on 116th Avenue Northeast.
"It's extremely interesting because we didn't want to close," said Anthony Murray, manager for Northwestern Foods, adding the landlord didn't want to renew the Denny's lease. "They more than likely are getting a lot more rent from Chick-fil-A, and that's why they're doing it."
Bobbi Pochman for the city of Bellevue's Development Services Department said permits are still in the review process and Chick-fil-A is also conducting more work to be submitted for review. There is also a boundary line adjustment pending.
"We're very excited to be entering the (Washington) market," said Chick-fil-A spokesman Jerry Johnston of the fast food chain's first two restaurants in the state to open in Tacoma and Lynwood next year.
He said Chick-fil-A has no information about the Bellevue location to release at this time.
Murray said the Denny's location will remain open until the end of August, but it is uncertain if Northwestern Foods will be able to find a new location in Bellevue.
"For me, there's no place either," said Steve Shafia, owner of neighboring business Pier 1 Auto Sales. His lease expires in July.
Shafia said his location on 116th has worked well for him the past four years, but finding a location for his smaller inventory of about 20 cars may be impossible in Bellevue.
A manager at Coast Bellevue Hotel said it does not share the same landlord as Denny's and Pier 1 Auto Sales and will continue to do business on 116th.