Garden City Wendy's getting remodeled from the ground up
By ANGIE HAFLICH
A long-standing fixture on East Kansas Avenue is undergoing a transition.
After 30 years, franchise owner Gary Reiman said it is time for the local Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers restaurant to undergo a remodel.
"It will be the newest concept Wendy's has on Image Activation," Reiman said, describing the transformation that the restaurant will undergo.
Crews have been working on gutting the inside of the building at 1405 E. Kansas Ave., which will be demolished and removed to make way for a new building.
According to Wendy's website, www.aboutwendys.com, the Image Activation restaurants are sleek and contemporary concepts that not only have a striking street appearance, but also are designed to greatly enhance the customer experience.
Prominent features include fireplaces; a variety of inviting seating options, including lounge chairs and booths; Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs; digital menu boards and more.
Because of the more modern design element, Reiman said, the roof structure also will be different, and that while the menu offerings will remain the same, there will be some visual changes to the menu and more flavors of soda will be available because of a Coca-Cola freestyle fountain.
According to the website, www.worldofcocacola.com, the fountain offers more than 70 low or no-calorie options, more than 90 caffeine-free choices, and 80-plus other choices.
Reiman said new cooking equipment will include updated double-sided grills and auto-fryers.
Dave Gallentine, who supervises the Garden City location and Reiman's franchise locations in other area communities, said the new building will be beautiful and up to date.
"I think the people of Garden City are going to be very impressed," Gallentine said.
Reiman said the outside will be different.
"It has always had nice landscaping," he said. "It's a small lot, so we were somewhat restricted on what we could build, but I like the location."
Reiman said the existing store has been there since 1985 and that they hope to re-open the new restaurant in mid-December. Because the construction means at least the temporary loss of jobs, Reiman offered his employees the chance to work at franchises he owns in Dodge City, Liberal and Scott City.
"Some of them are going to work in some of the other surrounding stores. We didn't want to lose them, so that's where they're going," he said.
Eighteen of his employees currently are working in those other locations, he said, and about half of his employees quit, at least until the new restaurant opens.
"Hopefully, those employees will come back," he said.
Many faithful customers plan to come back, and in some cases, said they would drive out of town in order to get one of their Wendy's favorites.
"I would drive to Dodge to get my kids their favorite Frosties," Candice Erwin, Garden City, said in a reply to a Telegram Facebook post seeking comment from Wendy's faithful.
In her Facebook comment, Deb Fief, Garden City, said her diet could be in jeopardy because of the temporary closure.
"I've lost almost 40 pounds just living off their berry almond chicken salads. I'm lost without them," Fief said.