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Aug. 15, 2022

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Golden Corral aims for mid-February opening

Construction workers keep being asked if the kitchen’s open yet

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

Golden Corral’s expected opening day has twice come and gone, but franchise owner Ramsey Zawideh said Wednesday that they are now mere weeks from opening.

But the Tigard, Ore.-based restaurateur knows his last two predictions — October, and then December — have aged like bagged lettuce.

“We’re pushing hard,” he said, laughing. “So, probably sometime in that second week of February is when we’re going to be opening.”

Zawideh blamed the wait on subcontractors’ full plates. Some have gotten so busy that they missed a deadline, which caused delays down the line, he said.

“Contractors are very busy,” he said. “A contractor says they’re going to do this and all of a sudden, that slips by a week.

“Then you can’t put up framing until a cement slab goes down and that can’t happen until the site is level, and that can’t happen until the permits are there.”

Located near the intersection of Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard and state Highway 500, it will be the first Golden Corral in the Vancouver-Portland metropolitan area. Golden Corral has close to 500 locations across the country.

Still, there is clearly an appetite here for the North Carolina-based buffet chain, which offers all-you-can-eat prices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. People have driven onto the parking lot regularly, asking construction workers if the kitchen’s open, Zawideh said.

“It’s pretty obvious there are ladders and bulldozers sitting around the building. They just say ‘Not today,’ ” he said. “It’s humorous to a degree, until it gets to be so much.”

An official grand opening will be announced soon, he added. Interior work is mostly all that remains, including plumbing, electrical work and installing kitchen appliances.

So far, 200 people have been hired to staff the restaurant. Zawideh said the restaurant could hire 240 because he expects some will fall out of the buffet’s fast-paced work.

The restaurant seats 400 and comes with 181 parking spaces. Zawideh said they plan to have overflow parking when the grand opening arrives, but he doesn’t expect traffic to spill onto Fourth Plain Boulevard.

The new Golden Corral will anchor a new retail center called Orchards Crossing. No other tenants have been announced.

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Columbian staff writer

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