Upgraded restaurant will add new featuresThe new owners of Duluth’s three Burger Kings are investing more than $2.5 million in upgrading the restaurants.
By: Candace Renalls, Duluth News Tribune
The new owners of Duluth’s three Burger Kings are investing more than $2.5 million in upgrading the restaurants.
More than $1 million is going into construction of a new Burger King at 21st Avenue East and London Road that will replace the old building, said co-owner Tom Walsh Jr., whose company, GNT Development, is based in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The new Burger King will be joined by a small retail center that will be built next to it. The new restaurant will be smaller than the existing 3,700-square-foot structure that was built in 1976 as a Mr. Steak restaurant and became a Burger King in 1989.
Rebuilt, it will sport the chain’s sleek new look, said Walsh who, along with his father, own the three Burger Kings in Duluth, one in Superior and 30 others in the Midwest. It will look a lot like the Burger King at 208 E. Central Entrance that recently was remodeled.
The new exterior will feature stacked stonework that will contrast with its beige, gray and pop of red colors. Inside, the gray-walled dining area will offer red upholstered chairs and booths, red pendant lights, a big-screen TV, free WiFi and a digital menu board.
“It will have a sharp, clean look,” Walsh said. “It will be a lot more friendly and inviting.”
Its updated offerings will be similar to the rebuilt McDonald’s across the street that features a new contemporary look with plasma TV, upholstered chairs, lounge area and WiFi.
Walsh said they’ve invested another $1.5 million into remodeling the Burger Kings on Central Entrance and 27th Avenue West, along with staff development. The remodeling projects, headed by general contractor Lipe Brothers Construction of Duluth, were wrapping up last week.
“Unfortunately, the Burger Kings up there hadn’t had a lot of investment to them in the last several years,” Walsh said. “We’re looking forward to the opportunity to change the image. And we have done a lot with our teams.”
Staying competitive with the competition is one reason to upgrade the stores, Walsh acknowledged. Another is to provide a better experience for customers, he said.
“We owe it to the community to be involved,” he said. “It’s one of our goals and missions. We want to play a part in community and give back.”
The London Road Burger King closed two weeks ago, with its 25 employees reassigned to the other Burger Kings in Duluth until the new restaurant opens.
“We plan to keep everyone through the winter and have them ready when the restaurant reopens, for sure this summer, but spring is possible,” Walsh said.