T.G.I. Friday's going to Consol
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The Penguins have landed another "franchise" player.
This one is a restaurant.
T.G.I. Friday's will open its first Downtown restaurant at the Consol Energy Center in February, taking 7,500 square feet of space near the arena's main Fifth Avenue and Washington Place entrance.
The restaurant will be one of the first tenants to occupy the 13,000 square feet of ground-level retail space on Fifth Avenue planned as part of the Consol development.
Travis Williams, the Penguins' senior vice president of business affairs and general counsel, said T.G.I. Friday's would operate a full-service restaurant at the location, similar in size to those in the suburbs.
It will also offer outdoor dining during warmer months.
The restaurant will keep regular business hours each day and will be open before, during and after Penguins games and other Consol events.
Another restaurant, Qdoba Mexican Grill, will take 2,000 square feet of the available space along Fifth. It most likely will open in late December or January.
Two Qdoba concession stands inside the center will probably open in November.
Both restaurants have had sponsorship agreements with the team.
Mr. Williams said the Penguins are also close to signing another "food-related" tenant to occupy another 2,000 square feet of space on Fifth and have talked to several other prospects about the remaining 1,500 square feet. He said he hoped to have the entire space leased by year's end.
"For us, this is another indication that the Penguins are delivering on our promise to enhance economic development along the Fifth Avenue corridor and around the arena," he said.
Both he and Herky Pollock, a CB Richard Ellis/Pittsburgh executive vice president who helped to broker the deals, believe that the additions will supplement the other restaurants in the area, not negatively impact them.
"Our view is that these restaurants add synergy and critical mass to kick off the arena district," Mr. Pollock said.
First Published October 22, 2010 12:00 am