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Sizzler opening in Manteca?
Restaurant proposed near 120/Airport Way
Rendering of the proposed Sizzler restaurant. - photo by Photo Contributed

Sizzler wants to build a restaurant in West Manteca.
The 8,500-square-foot restaurant is envisioned along the 120 Bypass backing up to the westbound off ramp at Airport Way. It is behind the McDonald’s as well as the Taco Bell that is now under construction.
Access to the Sizzler will be from Daniels Street. It is part of the Stadium Square project owned by Kitchell Development of Del Mar, the same group that partnered with the City of Manteca to develop the Stadium Retail Center that is anchored by Kohl’s. Part of the site is also owned by Manteca Development Group, the local-based partnership that is working with the city to develop the family entertainment zone that is proposed for a 500-room hotel with indoor waterpark and conference center.
The Sizzler will have something that existing Sizzler restaurants in Modesto and Stockton don’t have — an outdoor BBQ area. There also will be 110 parking spaces for the restaurant.
The Manteca Planning Commission will review plans for the restaurant when they meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center council chambers, 1001 W. Center St.
When it opens sometime in 2016, it will be Manteca’s first Sizzler location since the original one at Highway 99 and Yosemite Avenue where Black Bear Diner is now located closed in the mid-1990s. Shortly afterwards the only other “steak house” in Manteca — Mr. Steak on North Main Street — closed as well eventually being replaced by the Waffle Shop. In both instances changing tastes, additional “steak” competition from other more general restaurants and additional steak houses opening in the region made it tough to keep prospering in Manteca.
Sizzler’s decision to locate in Manteca validates a city study conducted nearly a decade ago that doubted the city would be able to attract popular sit-down chain restaurants until there were at least 75,000 residents and a larger lunch business. Manteca currently has 73,000 residents.
Since then, however, two things changed have significantly changed the Manteca market for restaurants. Big League Dreams — and to a degree Bass Pro Shops — created a larger than typical Friday and weekend demand for a community with Manteca’s demographics. Out-of-town teams playing in tournaments every weekend for the past 5.5 years at BLD has helped make the Chili’s restaurant at nearby Stadium Retail Center one of the consist top three performing locations in the region for that chain.
Developers of The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley anchored by Bass Pro Shops noted two years ago that based on business from Bass Pro customers and the 16-screen cinema that Red Robin wished they had built a bigger footprint to handle the volume.
Bass Pro removed a seafood restaurant from their store plans believing the overall market in addition to the 2.1 million plus customers they draw each year from a 100-mile radius would not be enough to support it. After they opened, they mentioned that they wished they had kept the restaurants in their plans.
Manteca employment has grown somewhat but the biggest plus has been the infusion of the Del Webb at Woodbridge community that has increased the pool of potential lunch patrons.
Even so, Poag & McEwen hasn’t been able to snag additional restaurants so far for Orchard Valley due to the fact the customer pattern of both the retail center and Manteca as a whole is different from the norm. Several restaurants over the years have “shopped” building plans for stand-alone sites at Orchard Valley such as Cool Hand Luke steak house but ultimately decided against locating either due to the economy at the time or having second thoughts about Manteca’s somewhat unconventional demographics.
Going in Manteca’s favor is the fact the city, based on the study 10 years ago, has a higher restaurant concentration than most cities of its due in a large part that households dine out on a more frequent basis than would be typically expected for a city this size.