Sherman diners will have to wait a little longer for their Grand Slam and Moons Over My Hammy. Representatives with a prospective Denny’s franchisee said this week that it could be November or December before the diner chain opens its doors in Sherman.
In April, representatives confirmed that franchisee Syed Ahmad planned to open a Denny’s location in the former El Chico Café building at the intersection of U.S. Highway 75 and U.S. Highway 82, and while it was initially announced that the franchise would open in September or October, representatives said the project has seen some delays.
“Basically, to the best of my knowledge, it is the architectural plans that are holding this up,” said JD Gonzales, who helped broker the deal for the former Mexican restaurant building.
Denny’s previously maintained a Sherman location along Texoma Parkway in what is now the home of Sweetberries Café. The chain effectively left the market when it closed the Sherman location more than a decade ago.
The El Chico location has been vacant since mid-2018 when the Sherman restaurant closed its doors for good.
“Denny’s has long desired to have a return to the Sherman-Denison market, but just need the right opportunity,” Gonzales said. “That opportunity has finally presented itself.”
When Ahmad was originally scouting the area, city officials initially pitched sites near growth corridors at FM 1417 and FM 691. However, the intersection of two U.S. Highways in Grayson County was the final choice for the site. Gonzales said the location offers high visibility, access and traffic for a prospective restaurant.
“The Sherman-Denison market is a very lucrative market for Denny’s,” he said. “We have no presence now, but I feel the market is a good fit from a customer standpoint.”
Gonzales said the site will likely need extensive renovations to convert it from a Mexican eatery to the style of building that Denny’s typically uses. As such, developers are currently waiting for design plans to be returned from an Austin-based firm.
Despite the delay, Gonzales said the site is still a boon for the franchisee as it allows for a cost savings compared to building on an empty lot.
“It is also faster than building from the ground up,” he said.
What do you think about the development going on at the intersection of Hwy 75 an Hwy 82? Let local government reporter Michael Hutchins know at MHutchins@HeraldDemocrat.com.