The days of waiting in a long line at IHOP on Assembly Street could be over. But don’t worry, you will still be able to get your Rooty Tooty Fresh ’N Fruity fix.
Bulldozers started tearing down the 45-year-old fixture this week, and will soon start construction on a bigger, more modern IHOP restaurant with plans of re-opening in December, company spokesman Craig Hoffman said from his office in Glendale, Calif. Wednesday.
The breakfast-all-day eatery opened across from the State House in 1968, and likely has been remodeled a couple of time since then, Hoffman said, though he didn’t have those records.
But it was time to completely rebuild to the chain’s newest specifications, he said.
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The new restaurant will have:
• 60 more seats
• A bigger parking lot
• An outdoor dining patio
• 30 additional employees
• And will be 4,200 square feet
In addition to the signature Rooty Tooty Fresh ’N Fruity signature breakfast dish, diners can get a T-Bone and eggs dish, pot roast, a cheeseburger and other classic diner foods, plus a never-ending coffee pot at any time of day or night.
The main difference will be: “You won’t have to wait as long” during peak times, Hoffman said.
The restaurant caters chiefly to the college crowd and visitors staying in nearby hotels, said Fred Delk, executive director of the Columbia Development Corp., which guides development in The Vista and other downtown areas.
“I always thought it was a pretty cool, retro kind of building” that added to the character of the neighborhood, Delk said.
He said he hopes the new building will be an urban structure that will fit in with the community.
“We love having them in the neighborhood,” he said.