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'Colonel' coming to Madras

August opening for KFC-A&W

by: Photo By Holly M. Gill - This week workers at Jefferson Square will be framing the KFC and A&W towers.


   The identifiable towers for the south Madras KFC-A&W restaurant combination are going up this week as steady progress continues on the new restaurant.
   Area residents who have been licking their fingers over the prospect of the new restaurant can mark their calendars for an August opening, according to Greg Schons, of Bend, who will operate the local franchise with his wife Vickee.
   "The community has been fantastic, and we have had a good response from everyone we have talked to," he said. "KFC-A&W is a good product and we hope everyone enjoys it."
   Located on the east side of U.S. Highway 97, just south of the Truck Stop, the restaurant represents the first phase of Jefferson Square -- a project put together by Scott and Lee Goodrich, of Bend, owners of L. Scott Construction.
   "Everybody that comes by is excited to see it coming," said Scott Goodrich, who is also the contractor for the project. "One woman was just happy she doesn't have to stop by Redmond for her coleslaw. They're excited that it's coming to town."
   Every weekday, Goodrich is on site overseeing anywhere from nine to 12 people, who are currently in the process of framing and roughing in electrical and plumbing for the KFC-A&W.
   Before he is finished, the first phase will include an entrance off the highway just south of the KFC-A&W, sidewalks, and landscaping.
   "The project, from my perspective, is going great," Schons noted on Monday. "Scott and Lee Goodrich are doing a great job and are on schedule."
   With construction handled by L. Scott Construction, Schons is focusing on the purchase of the kitchen equipment, seating for the restaurant, signs, and checkout equipment.
   The Schonses expect to hire about 40 people for the facility. "We are looking for up to three qualified managers for the store, with high-volume restaurant experience," he said.
   "Whomever we hire will train at an existing KFC-A&W for 14 weeks in preparation for the opening of our store," Schons added. "We will be hiring up to 35 coworkers when we get closer to the opening date."
   In addition to a competitive salary, managers receive medical benefits, life insurance, a retirement program, vacation and sick leave.
   The Schonses, who have been in the fast food business for over two decades, intend to open the restaurant in mid-August.
   They have set up a Web site at www.oregonholdings.com to show construction progress, as well as allow people interested in managerial positions to apply.
   Two-year process
   The project had its beginnings in 2006, when the Goodriches, who are enthusiastic about Madras' potential, purchased the former site of the Royal Dutch Motel and two adjacent properties. They immediately began clearing and drawing up plans for the 3.88-acre site.
   A layout of the entire, 43,360-square-foot facility shows a U-shaped building with space for retail or a restaurant in the end caps, as well as two separate pads -- the KFC-A&W on the northwest end, and a slightly larger pad, possibly for a bank, on the southwest end.
   The center of the masonry and stucco building will have a second story with 4,000 square feet of office space.
   When the plans were complete, the Goodriches found that the 53-foot clock tower dominating the middle of the center required a variance from city code, which limits buildings to 45 feet. The city finally approved the plans in September of 2007.
   "The city of Madras is trying hard to do things right," said Goodrich. "They've been really good to work with."
   Although he is focused on finishing the KFC-A&W multibrand restaurant, Goodrich is also in the process of finding the right leasees.
   "We're looking for tenants for the primary building," he said. "Just as soon as we find some tenants, we're going to move forward on that. We've had some pretty strong interest."
   The main building will be built in the second phase, which will also include paving of Bard Lane, in cooperation with the city.
   "We would like to start it this summer," he added.