1st Carl's Jr. in San Juan County opens Sunday

James Fenton
The new Carl's Jr. location is due to open Sunday at 2300 E. Main St. in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — Time-pressed people in search of a quick meal now have another fast-food option as a Carl's Jr. location is expected to open at 11 a.m. Sunday at 2300 E. Main St.

The chain known for its charbroiled burgers, crisscut fries and made-from-scratch biscuits will join Taco Bell and McDonald's at the corner of North Tucker Avenue and East Main Street.

Franchise owners Shawn and Jennifer Dowling, who also own and operate a Carl’s Jr. franchise and two Big Cheese Pizza restaurants in Gallup, said the new restaurant will serve breakfast starting at 6 a.m. every day and stay open until 11 p.m. Food will be available at the eatery's drive-through window until midnight.

"We think the brand has a lot to offer," Jennifer Dowling said. "We serve bigger, better burgers and premium fast food. I eat there every day. And Farmington is just a great match."

Carl's Jr. manager Thor Dahal, left, and franchise owner Shawn Dowling talk Thursday at the restaurant.

Manager Thor Dahal, who was formerly the food services director at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center and area schools, said he hired 60 full- and part-time employees to work at the new location and was busy finishing up with training exercises this week.

Carl's Jr. manager Thor Dahal, left, welcomes his employees to work Thursday.

The new location joins a string of fast food eateries — including KFC, Arby's, Burger King, Wendy's, Hometown Hamburgers, Captain D's, Dairy Queen and Blake's Lotaburger— along a mile-long stretch of Main Street near downtown.

The Farmington location is the 19th Carl's Jr. in New Mexico and the first in San Juan County. The first Carl's Jr. in the state opened in Santa Fe in 1999. The fast-food chain was started by Carl and Margaret Karcher in 1941 as a hot dog cart in Los Angeles.

Four years later, the Karchers opened their first full-service restaurant, Carl's Drive-In Barbeque, in Anaheim, Calif.

The chain was branded Carl's Jr. in 1956. Today, sister companies Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC and Hardee’s Restaurants LLC operate 3,705 mostly franchised restaurants in 44 states and 39 foreign countries.

Carl's Jr. franchise owner Shawn Dowling discusses opening day preparations Thursday.

James Fenton is the business editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4621.

More information

What: Carl's Jr.

Where: 2300 E. Main St. in Farmington

Hours: 6 a.m. to midnight every day

More information: Go to carlsjr.com