Two weeks after a Chipotle official told Owensboro Times they “do not have a planned location” in Owensboro, he reportedly told the Messenger-Inquirer that the restaurant chain would be coming next year.
Tyler Benson, Manager of External Communications for Chipotle Mexican Grill, told OT via email on Sept. 27 — in direct response to an inquiry on whether or not Chipotle was coming to Owensboro — that “At this point, we do not have a planned location in Owensboro. But stay patient! We are always looking to bring our food with integrity to great new communities.”
However, the M-I reported Wednesday that Benson told them via a Tuesday email that “We are currently scheduled to open a location in Owensboro at some point in the spring of 2022. Those are the only details I have to share right now.”
(Later Wednesday morning, Benson sent an email to OT with the same message about opening next year.)
Earlier this year, OT also found job listings for Chipotle that have since expired or been taken down. One was for a restaurant general manager posted on jobsearcher.com, while another was for a crew member posted on Chipotle’s hiring site. No jobs can currently be found for an Owensboro location through Chipotle’s site. Owensboro is also not listed as a location.
The former Krispy Kreme location is widely speculated to be Chipotle’s new home. While Owensboro Times has not been able to confirm the location, OT can confirm the old Krispy Kreme building has been sold — and to the same person who purchased another widely discussed property on KY 54.
California businessman Jacob Fedder purchased the former Krispy Kreme on Frederica Street as well as the former Bob Evans location on KY 54 — along with the connecting property due west — for more than $3 million total.
OT has twice reached out to Fedder but each time he declined to say what will go in either location, including once on Tuesday morning.
On Sept. 23, in response to a general inquiry of what he’d do with the properties, Fedder said via text that “I’m sorry but it is our policy not to comment on the detail of our developments. Very exciting things coming to Owensboro soon. As soon as I am able to comment I’m happy to circle back with you.”
On Tuesday, in response to a direct question on whether Chipotle was going in the old Krispy Kreme building, Fedder said via text “Unfortunately we are not able to comment but Chipotle would be an outstanding addition to the community.”
Fedder purchased the properties under a pair of LLCs. Fedder is one of three active principals for Mali-Jack, LLC. Mali-Jack was incorporated in 2011 and has a principal address in Beverly Hills, CA.
The former Krispy Kreme (4911 Frederica Street) was purchased by Mali Frederica LLC on May 28 for $1,150,000. The 3,100-square-foot building opened in June 2016, but the Krispy Kreme location permanently closed in February 2018. The .69-acre lot was also formerly home to a KFC.
The former Bob Evans (3123 KY 54) was purchased by Mali HWY 54 LLC on July 14 for $1,350,000. The 5,175-square-foot building sits on a 1.11 acre lot in front of Walmart. Bob Evans Restaurants purchased the building in 2005, but the Owensboro location permanently closed in April 2016. The building was then briefly home to Sakura Asian Cuisine. In February 2019, IDK Family Restaurant — based in Powderly — opened a second location in that building, but the location closed a year later.
Mali HWY 54 LLC also purchased the .807-acre lot (3107 Leitchfield Road) directly adjacent to the former Bob Evans location.
South Central Bank is providing the financing for the properties Fedder purchased. Jarred Bowman, Senior Vice-President Commercial Lending, said via a phone call on Oct. 5 that everything was still confidential and could not confirm what was going in either location.