This story was updated on June 15 to clarify the position of Stephen Lebovitz
Amid the pandemic and its aftermath, Sticky Fingers, Big River Grille and Old Chicago all closed restaurants at Hamilton Place over the past three years.
But within the next year, the shuttered eateries will be redeveloped with three new restaurants as Hamilton Place mall continues to add new and different tenants coming out of the pandemic shutdowns.
Texas Roadhouse and two popular local restaurants, Taco Mamacita and Community Pie, are leasing parcels at Hamilton Place and building new or relocated eateries.
Texas Roadhouse, which entered the Chattanooga market 23 years ago with its East Brainerd restaurant on Amin Drive near the Shallowford Road exit on Interstate 75, plans to relocate to the site of the former Big River Grille & Brewing Works, which shut down last July after 14 years of operation.
"Our lease is up here, and we're going to move across the street to a bigger, newer restaurant," Ron Houser, the market partner for 14 Texas Roadhouse steakhouses in East Tennessee, said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "It looks like a great opportunity to build our sales and expand our presence."
Demolition of the former Big River site at 2020 Hamilton Place Blvd. is slated to begin later this month, and Texas Roadhouse plans to build an 8,200-square-foot location to accommodate up to 330 seats, Houser said. The new Texas Roadhouse will have about 60 more seats that its predecessor, he said.
"We feel real good about this site with a bit easier and visible access, and Hamilton Place continues to grow and do well," Houser said.
Houser said he expects the new restaurant to be built and ready by January, and the existing staff will then switch to the new site.
Texas Roadhouse added a second local eatery in Hixson along Highway 153 in 2018, which will also continue operation, Houser said.
In addition to the new Texas Roadhouse, the Hamilton Place area will be getting two other new restaurants developed by the Monen Family Restaurant Group.
Work is underway on Community Pie, which will open in July at the former Old Chicago Pizza location at 2006 Hamilton Place Blvd., according to a news release from property owner CBL Properties. The Hamilton Place Old Chicago location closed in May 2022, and many of its workers moved to The Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom at Northgate Mall.
On the site of the former Sticky Fingers restaurant along I-75, a new Taco Mamacita restaurant is planned. Dillard Construction Co. is revamping the 6,039-square-foot restaurant building, which was erected in 1990, according to Hamilton County property records.
CBL Properties, the Chattanooga-based development company that owns Hamilton Place, will lease the restaurant sites for the new eateries.
Stephen Lebovitz, CEO of CBL, announced the restaurant additions along with a new Crunch Fitness facility for Hamilton Place on Wednesday.
"I am thrilled to announce the addition of Crunch Fitness and three new dining options to the Hamilton Place campus," Lebovitz said in his announcement of the new mall additions. "The Hamilton Place campus has experienced tremendous growth and tenant demand over the last several years, celebrating several high-profile grand openings, including most recently Nordstrom Rack at The Terrace and the addition of new specialty stores such as Tradehome Shoes, Rose & Remington and many others as well as J. Crew Factory opening in fall 2023."
The Monen Restaurant Group owns and operates Taco Mamacita, Community Pie, Milk & Honey, Urban Stack and Hi-Fi Clyde restaurants in both Chattanooga and Nashville. The Monens could not be reached for comment Wednesday.