Biz briefs: Pizza Ranch to open first metro site in Lakeville

  • Article by: DEAN SPIROS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 31, 2010 - 6:52 PM

Pizza Ranch, an Iowa-based restaurant chain with restaurants in nine Midwest states, is opening its first restaurant in the metro area. The new site is next to Hom Furniture along I-35 in Lakeville.

The restaurant will take over two storefronts, formerly home to Second Wind exercise equipment and a carpet store. The strip mall is owned by Hom, which proved to be key to making the site work for Pizza Ranch.

There are not enough parking spaces dedicated to the two storefronts to meet the requirement for a restaurant. But Pizza Ranch will be able to use part of the Hom parking lot, which has more than enough spaces for both businesses.

Pizza Ranch has nearly 40 restaurants in Minnesota but the closest to the metro area are in New Prague and Owatonna. Along with pizza, the restaurants feature fried chicken. Diners can order from a pizza and chicken buffet or from the menu. Pizza Ranch bills itself as a family restaurant. No alcohol is served.

Growing with success

James Reyes Jr., owner of Junior's Cafe and Grill in Eagan, is opening a second restaurant, Junior's Sports Cafe, at 1996 E. Hwy. 13 in Burnsville.

The new restaurant, like the one in Eagan, will feature a 1950s theme. It will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The original Junior's was voted one of the 10 best places in the metro area for breakfast in the March issue of Minnesota Monthly magazine.

Joining the crowd

Luther auto company is building a new Volkswagen dealership at 14551 Burnhaven Road in Burnsville. The nearly 7-acre site is the former location of General Cinema theaters.

The front of the building will face Buck Hill Road, which will make it the latest addition to a string of auto dealerships on that road.

The site was approved for a new Hyundai dealership in 2006 but it was never built. A joint facility for Hyundai and Volkswagen was approved in 2008, but again no action was taken.

The dealership needs approvals from the city's planning commission and city council before it's a done deal.

Saying goodbye

El Lorito Mexican Restaurant in Lakeville has closed. The location -- 8275 210th St. -- didn't get enough traffic, and the restaurant was not a natural draw for shoppers downtown or for the busier stretch of County Road 50.

The company still operates the El Toro Mexican Restaurant at 14638 Cedar Av. in Apple Valley.

Dean Spiros • 952-882-9203

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