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Local Denny's opens new building, same location
New $1M restaurant is franchise's latest design
FARMINGTON – Farmington’s Denny’s restaurant is back in business with a new home. The diner opened its new building on Sunday evening after several months of construction at its 600 Scott Ave. location.
Doug Koch of QK Holdings, the local Denny’s franchisee, said Farmington’s customers “wore out the old building.”
“Normally we just do a remodel, but that restaurant was so old and kind of tired, and really it was worn out. I kid that the customers wore it out, but that really is what happened,” Koch said. “It’s a very good location for us, and we had room to build a brand new one beside (the old building), and the old one became a parking lot.”
Koch said the new building, which is the franchise’s latest design, cost more than $1 million to build.
Work on the new building began in June. The business was closed from Sept. 4 through 24 for the demolition of the old building, final touches on the new building and to train new and returning staff on new equipment and facilities, according to Luis Medina, a local manager for Denny’s.
The new restaurant is bigger than the old building by 7,000 square feet and 57 seats, and it has larger kitchen facilities and storage, an updated computer system and a more efficient parking lot, Medina said.
“Over there was an old building,” Medina said, gesturing across the parking lot. “We didn’t have the room that we have over here. It was a small kitchen, and it was hard.”
Medina said the kitchen has doubled in size, and with an updated restaurant management system called Dine, the serving and kitchen staff has become more efficient, even with a larger staff.
“We kept all the existing employees from the old building, I don’t know how many there were, but all the old employees, they came here, plus we hired like 30 more (staff),” Medina said, adding that trainers from Denny’s restaurants in Alamogordo, El Paso and Raton came for staff training.
The Farmington Denny’s is one of several in the state-franchised by QK Holdings, which is the largest franchisee of Denny’s restaurants in the world, according to the company’s website. The company also operates Farmington’s Del Taco at 5506 East Main St.
Food Service Concepts, a building design company based in Phoenix, is in the final stages of completing the project, according to project manager Chuck Saab. Rainy weather caused delays in the final steps – landscaping in the new parking lot – but Saab said on Wednesday he expected the landscaping to be finished by the end of the week.
The restaurant is open for business now, though, and Medina said the reception for the new building and facilities has been positive.
Regular customer Rose Chromy said she followed the progress of the project over the past few months and is pleased with the new restaurant and larger staff.
“They needed a new building, so it’s good,” Chromy said. “It’s very good. It looks really nice. They did a really nice job on it, and it’s friendly -- that’s what we like about it.”
Denny’s will host a grand opening celebration on Oct. 18. The restaurant will offer celebration prices on meals and prizes throughout the day, according to Medina.
Megan Petersen is the business and education reporter for the Farmington Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4621.