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Qdoba coming to Vienna

From left, Matt Herridge and Grant Wharton sit outside at the newest location of Qdoba, the former Steak and Shake at the Grand Central Mall in Vienna. (Photo by Jess Mancini)

VIENNA — A local management company is opening a new restaurant in Vienna.

QMG Venture and its management company Charton Management owned by Grant Wharton and Matt Herridge closed on the Steak and Shake at the Grand Central Mall Tuesday and plan to open a Qdoba Mexican restaurant at the site later this fall.

Both Herridge and Wharton described the new store as exciting.

“We’re excited to bring Qdoba to the Vienna-Parkersburg community,” Wharton said. “We think this is going to be an excellent site.”

“It’s going to be awesome,” Herridge said. “We will be one of the few Qdobas in the nation of this size with a drive through.”

From left, Grant Wharton and Matt Herridge of Charton Management, which runs the local Burger Kings and Qdobas in the area, pose in the newest location of Qdoba, the former Steak and Shake at the Grand Central Mall in Vienna. Qdoba will open around mid-November. (Photo by Jess Mancini)

Mayor Randy Rapp was equally descriptive in his assessment of the new restaurant and the owners.

“I think it’s a fantastic thing for Vienna,” Rapp said.

“They’re wonderful people,” said Rapp, who also said he enjoyed the hamburgers and fries at Steak and Shake, too.

The Vienna site will be the company’s third Qdoba franchise. QMG operates two existing Qdoba restaurants in Marietta and Athens.

The company also operates the local Burger King franchises, of which a Burger King is located about 200 yards away from the new mall location.

The Qdoba corporate head office approved a new franchise location in Parkersburg or Vienna a year ago, Herridge said. About six months, representatives of the companies toured the area and determined the former Steak and Shake, which closed during the pandemic, was first-choice on the company’s list of sites to locate, he said.

“We’ve been looking for a site in Parkersburg and Vienna now for more than a year,” Herridge said.

The location, like the others in the local Qdoba chain, is unusual from other restaurants in the Qdoba franchise, Herridge said. While others are located in facilities with other stores – in line box space – these are stand alone, he said.

“It’s also a very large building of 3,500 square feet,” Herridge said.

Besides a large inside seating area, the restaurant also has a drive through, which other Qdobas generally do not feature, he said.

If there’s one lesson learned from the pandemic, it was the significance of a drive through, Herridge said.

For pandemic response, restaurants are considered essential services and while they could not allow indoor seating, drive through service was allowable.

“The big thing we found out is how invaluable a drive through is to a restaurant right now,” Herridge said.

The site will be renovated and plans are for the restaurant to open in mid November, several weeks before the Thanksgiving holidays, he said. The restaurant will employ about 50 people, Herridge said.

“And we’re looking for managers right now, too,” he said.

Jess Mancini can be reached at jmancini@newsandsentinel.com.

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