Tri-Citians like their Bob's Burgers. So much so that Bob Kildall, CEO and founder of Bob's Burgers and Brew, is opening a second restaurant in Richland at Vintner's Plaza off Queensgate Drive.
"I'm excited. I like your area. I'm not a big city guy," he said. "I fell in love with the spot in Kennewick even though I thought it would take two to three years for the city to grow in around us."
"My expectations were not very high," he said, chuckling. "But now the area is booming, the ball fields are finished, other businesses are going in. I'm excited about the growth in Kennewick.
"I expect the same thing to happen in Richland," he said.
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The Kennewick restaurant opened last November on Plaza Way in the Southridge area.
Since then it's grown to be the second busiest in his chain of 11 restaurants. At 6,800 square feet, it's also one of the largest. The new Richland Bob's will be the same size and also have a staff of about 90.
They have barely broken ground at the Richland site -- which is near Target -- yet Kildall is hoping to open the Richland Bob's on March 1.
Kildall opened his first Bob's on Jan. 1, 1970, in Lynden, and still owns it.
"I was a very young man, 24 or 25, when an opportunity came along and I was able to buy out a restaurant. Then, the restaurant field was small. There were some tiny ones in town but no franchises, no large restaurants. I was lucky. I got into the restaurant business when it was literally brand new and I still love it and I plan to stay as long as I'm having fun," he said.
"I look at the restaurants in the Tri-Cities, because of the economy here, as a great opportunity for me and my managers," he said. "I provide good jobs at all my restaurants, the waitresses and waiters make good money and I appreciate every one of them."
Kildall said his goal is to serve the very best burgers in the Tri-Cities, in a family atmosphere and "for no one to ever leave hungry."