Corey Rice of Gander and Steve Blanchard of Deer Lake are the franchisees for the location that will be opening next spring in the Corner Brook Plaza.
The best friends are originally from White Bay.
Rice said last week that Blanchard had looked at becoming a franchisee for sometime ago, but had kind of given up on it.
However, the communication lines with Boston Pizza stayed open and when the idea resurfaced the two decided to do it together.
“There’s a need in Corner Brook we feel, and Boston Pizza feels,” said Rice, who added Corner Brook is no different than Gander in that there are limited places to go and eat.
“It’s a great brand and we feel it’s much needed in Corner Brook. The food is great, it’s consistent, the sports bar theme is great too, but at the same time it’s a family restaurant.”
They chose the plaza for a location as opposed to a standalone building because a build would be substantially more expensive. The only other place they would be interested in would be over towards Wal-Mart where, he said, land is at a premium.
And they feel that visibility at the plaza is as good as any other location.
“It’s an active area, too,” said Rice, who added Boston Pizza will help draw people to the shopping centre.
“Now we’re at the stage of just waiting for it to get constructed,” he said.
The restaurant will be located in a section of the space that had been occupied by Target.
Work is ongoing to open up the space and divide it into a number of rentable spaces. A floor plan on the shopping centre’s website shows Boston Pizza will be located at the front of the building.
The plan also shows that a large section will be occupied by an Urban Planet clothing store.
After some delays Rice said they are now “full steam ahead” and in the process of getting an architect to do some drawings for the restaurant.
As soon as the space is released to them they will have their own general contractor complete construction of the restaurant.
It will be pretty much like other Boston Pizza’s with a bar section and a restaurant section with food service in both. It will also have a patio for the summer and Rice expects they will employ 65-70 people.
No strangers to business
Corey Rice of Gander and Steve Blanchard of Deer Lake are the franchisees for the new Boston Pizza restaurant that will open in Corner Brook next spring.
Both have lots of experience with running businesses, including franchises of other well-known restaurants.
Rice currently owns three Tim Hortons restaurants in Gander and is involved in a seniors development.
Blanchard owns the A&W in Stephenville and a Home Hardware and hotel in Baie Verte.