Get ready for bacon cheeseburgers and charbroiled chicken. Carl’s Jr. officials hope to open on the old Masthead Restaurant property by next summer.
Company officials confirmed Monday that they will raze the old Ocean Beach Highway building and replace it with a new 3,000-square restaurant. The fast food joint will employ about 40 people in a mix of full and part-time positions.
The interior and exterior will be in the same design as the Carl’s Jr. in Woodland, which opened in May 2016. That location has a seven-car drive through lane and a parking lot with 19 spaces, according to City of Woodland documents. It’s likely the Longview location will have a similar set up.
“It’s the new prototype. It’s a great new look,” said Josh Veentjer, developer with Pacific Development Ventures, speaking on behalf of K.B. Land Development. The Eugene-based franchise purchased the 0.7-acre Masthead site for $900,000 in mid-October, according to the Cowlitz County Treasurer’s office.
Veentjer said the franchise wanted to continue expanding north from Woodland to tap into the Cowlitz County market.
“It’s an opportunity for the brand. It’s a gap in the market and a natural growth up Interstate 5,” Veentjer said.
The fast-food chain serves breakfast, burgers, fries, salads, tacos and burritos.
Constructing a new building will be about $2 million investment, Veentjer estimates.
“It’s a busy street. It’s central to the city, so it was a logical entry into the market place,” Veentjer said of the Ocean Beach Highway spot. “With a first store in a new market, you want to be in the middle of everything and have a lot of traffic visibility.”
Although it’s still “very early in the process,” the company is drawing up designs and starting permitting with the city, he said.
Once the company submits an application with the city it should take about three to five weeks to complete permitting for the project, said John Brickey, community development director with the city of Longview.
After that, construction should take about 100 days, Veentjer added.
K.B. Land Development is a partnership between the Karcher brothers, the sons of Carl Karcher, who founded the Carl’s Jr. brand. The franchise includes 27 locations in the greater Portland metro area, although the brothers individually own about 100 Carl’s Jr. locations nationwide.
The Masthead closed Oct. 29 when the owners decided to retire after 46 years. The Masthead’s former employees plan to open a new restaurant, called The Castaways, with a similar menu in a new, yet-to-be-announced location.