Chili’s hot for Clovis

By Glen Seeber

A Chili’s Grill & Bar Family Restaurant will open in Clovis this fall, a spokesman for Brinker International Inc. said Monday.

“We’re very excited to be bringing Chili’s to Clovis,” Chris Barnes said. “We have signed a lease on a property in Clovis.”

The new restaurant will be located in a lot south of The Dollar Tree, north of the northeast corner of Prince Street and Llano Estacado.

Also coming to Clovis in the near future, if everything goes as planned, will be a Hancock Fabrics store, city officials said.

Barnes said construction on the restaurant could begin as early as May, with an opening date this fall — perhaps in October.

The 5,500 square foot, prototype restaurant will seat up to 220 customers, Barnes said, and will employ about 100 people.

“We’ll open with a little more than that, then through attrition reach about 100 team members,” Barnes said.
Hiring for the restaurant will begin about six weeks before it opens.

Although Brinker International Inc. also owns Romano’s Macaroni Grill, On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina and other chain restaurants, Barnes said it was too early to say whether any other brands would be joining Chili’s in Clovis.
“Chili’s is a good start for us,” he said. “We will be evaluating opportunities for other brands in the future.”

Don Clifton, finance director for the city of Clovis, said Chili’s has not yet obtained a liquor license through the city. “They would have to go through the state Alcohol and Gaming Division first. As of today, we have heard nothing from them.”
Once the state gives approval for a liquor license, then the city would have to hold a public hearing, he said. That would be handled through the city commission.

As for you fabric lovers, the opening date for Hancock Fabrics is still undetermined.

A spokesperson for Hancock Fabrics could not provide any information about plans for the store, since a lease had not yet been signed.

However, Clifton confirmed personnel from the company have stopped by to begin the paperwork to obtain a building permit.

Hancock Fabrics Inc., with headquarters in Tupelo, Miss., is a retail and wholesale merchant of fabric and related home sewing and decorating accessories, according to the company’s Web site. It operates 430 stores in 42 states, and supplies more than 100 independent wholesale customers.

Founded in 1957, Hancock Fabrics ranks as one of the leading fabric chains serving the home sewing market, the Web site states.

Chili’s Grill & Bar Family Restaurant started in Dallas, Texas, in 1975, and was acquired in 1988 by Norman Brinker. The company name was changed to Brinker International Inc. in 1991. The company now has more than 1,400 restaurants, according to its Web site.