WARRENTON — Developers are planning a Chipotle Mexican Grill, Five Guys Burgers and Fries and MOD Pizza at the Old Youngs Bay Plaza.
Architectural firm Baysinger Partners submitted plans to divide the former Dooger’s Seafood at the corner of Harbor Drive and U.S. Highway 101 between MOD Pizza and Five Guys. A Chipotle would be built between the former Dooger’s and E. Harbor Drive.
Atlas Investments, the owners of the shopping center, declined to comment. Dooger’s closed its Warrenton location in May after 15 years. Doug Wiese, the founder of Dooger’s, cited difficulties in reaching a fair extension with Atlas.
Tyler Benson, a spokesman for Chipotle, confirmed the company is planning a location later this year. Representatives for Five Guys and MOD Pizza were not available for comment.
Chipotle, founded in Denver and headquartered near Los Angeles, has grown to more than 2,500 locations, the closest in Vancouver, Washington. The chain has been recovering from a spate of food poisoning cases in 2018 that sickened more than 700 customers after food was left at unsafe temperatures.
The new Chipotle building will be about 2,300 square feet. Instead of waiting in a traditional drive-thru, takeout customers will order online and pick orders up in the “Chipotlane” once notified they are ready.
Five Guys, founded and headquartered in Virginia, has more than 1,500 locations in 19 countries. The closest location is in Longview, Washington.
MOD Pizza, founded in Seattle and headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, has more than 400 locations in the U.S. and United Kingdom. After raising more than $160 million in investment capital last year, the company hopes to reach 1,000 locations in the next four years.
Baysinger Partners expects a majority of customers to access the new restaurants from E. Harbor Drive, with Neptune Drive on the south end of the plaza a secondary access.
Warrenton, focused on avoiding traffic backups at drive-thrus like those around Wendy’s near the intersection of Ensign Lane and Highway 101, required Baysinger Partners to perform a queuing analysis for the Chipotle. Baysinger, after monitoring similar restaurants in Hazel Dell, Washington, estimated a maximum of six cars waiting, with online ordering making the operation much more efficient for traffic movement.
The city will also make the developers go through a conditional use process. Kevin Cronin, the city’s community development director, said he pulled the process from Astoria’s development code.
“It’s what we call an alternatives analysis,” Cronin said. “So you have to prove that this is the right location.”
Baysinger proposed a diagonally striped box directing drivers not to block the intersection on Harbor Drive between the driveways to the Old Youngs Bay Plaza and Shilo Inn. Cronin said the city has suggested a divider on Harbor Drive and only allowing drivers to turn right into or out of the plaza.