New, relocated restaurants coming to Ridgecrest

 New, relocated restaurants coming to RidgecrestBy LAURA QUEZADA

News Review Staff Writer

Dotted along China Lake Boulevard is evidence of new restaurants coming to Ridgecrest. We can look forward to more choices in coffee, Mexican and Asian eateries, plus a new location for an old favorite.

Heather Spurlock, City of Ridgecrest Administrative Analyst in Community Development, says, “A lot of the projects were spurred by the Economic Development Committee years ago. Former council members, planning commissioners and staff went to shows and tried to attract fast casual restaurants. We are just seeing it now. It takes a little time, but it’s here.”

Here is what we can expect:

Exterior work is completed for the new Arby’s near California Blvd and they are expected to move from their current spot near Drummond in three - to four months. Arby’s is a fast food sandwich restaurant.

Up the street a bit a coffee chain out of Oregon has their eye on the vacant lot across from Jim Charlon Ford. Dutch Brothers are presenting a site plan to the planning commission. Through its foundation and local franchisees, the community-oriented company donates millions of dollars to support its customers, local communities and nonprofit organizations. Their structure is a small building with drive-thru where they offer coffee and specialty drinks.

The groundwork that we see across from Corporate Alta One near Bowman is the Oasis Project which is being built in phases. The first phase opens a Starbucks and a Chipotle Mexican Grill; this phase may be completed by the end of the year. Chipotle specializes in tacos and burritos that are made to order in front of the customer. Eventually the Oasis Project will include a theater and a bowling alley.

In front of the Walmart Super Center we can see Panda Express going up with hopes of opening this fall. This is a fast food, casual, restaurant chain that serves American Chinese cuisine.

Spurlock tells us, “We are looking at ways to continue to support local people, too.” Local restaurants have noticed that people like the outdoor dining that was mandated by COVID restrictions. “We are starting to look at ways that we as a city can accommodate them to continue outdoor operations. That is an effort between the City, County Health and ABC, if they have alcohol licenses.” She adds, “Our community has done a good job in supporting all the restaurants that we do have which is why we continue to see growth. People are supporting our businesses. As long as we continue to do that we should continue to see growth.”

Laura Austin photos: Panda Express hopes to open this fall, while phase one of the Oasis Project on South China Lake Boulevard is underway.

Story First Published: 2021-06-04