Leeann Chin coming to Duluth's Miller Hill Mall food courtThe quick-serve contemporary Asian food chain will open this fall in the mall’s food court in the former Burger King space.
By: Candace Renalls, Duluth News Tribune
During months of rumors about a Leeann Chin restaurant coming to Duluth, Katie Altrichter, Miller Hill Mall’s manager, kept quiet. Even as speculation flew about other possible locations, Altrichter stayed mum.
She knew the popular quick-serve contemporary Asian food chain already had decided on the mall.
“It’s hard to keep secrets, especially when the news is exciting for the mall,” she said. But she was bound by confidentiality, until certain documents and procedures were in place.
Now, with the lease in hand, there’s no need for secrets.
Leeann Chin will open this fall in the mall’s food court in the former Burger King space.
In confirming their plans to open at Miller Hill Mall, Leeann Chin officials said Monday they hope to open sometime in October and certainly by Nov. 1.
And, they said, they’re excited about coming to Duluth.
While many longed for a sit-down Leeann Chin’s restaurant to open in Duluth, this will be one of the company’s first ventures into a food court format in a big indoor mall, Altrichter said.
“With a food court location, it will be more of an express format, so it will have a limited menu compared to their sit-down concept,” Altrichter said.
That puts Leeann Chin in the same food court as Max Orient, another Asian food vendor that has become a longtime food court staple.
“They’re meant to complement each other,” Altrichter said of the two vendors.
As deals go, the lease with Leeann Chin came together fairly quickly in the past eight to 10 months, she said.
The chain has been seeking job applicants for its new Duluth eatery, even before its officials confirmed their choice of Miller Hill Mall.
The Twin Cities-based chain, founded in 1980, has about 45 locations. While most are in the Twin Cities area, outstate locations include St. Cloud and Mankato as well as one in Fargo, N.D.
Other mall news
In a fast casual style, the eatery specializes in pasta dishes, along with salads, soups and sandwiches from Asia, the Mediterranean and America using healthy ingredients.
The restaurant, which will be among 300 Noodles & Company restaurants across the country, will open next to the Younkers entrance facing Miller Trunk Highway.