By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN
VISALIA – A popular chain of brewpubs is ready to tap into Visalia’s growing list of micro brews.
BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse is currently in the planning stages of opening its latest location on Mooney Boulevard. The restaurant will be located in the 8,000 square foot building that was formerly home to the Cask and Clever restaurant at 3627 S. Mooney Blvd.
From its Tatonka Stout to its LightSwitch Lager, BJ’s has 11 signature beers on tap at any given time as well as more than 10 rotating seasonal beers. The Huntington Beach-based brewhouse currently has 63 locations in California with the nearest in Fresno and another in Bakersfield. In the first quarter of fiscal 2019, BJ’s opened one new restaurant in Toledo, Ohio and its 204th restaurant in Sterling Heights, Michigan last month. CEO Greg Trojan said BJ’s expects to open an additional restaurant in the second quarter and four to six restaurants in the second half of this year.
“Our excitement about the ongoing benefits from our sales and efficiency initiatives is matched by the enthusiasm we have for the continued opportunity to expand BJ’s nationally,” Trojan continued. “While our 2019 development pipeline is in excellent shape and the opportunity for continued national expansion remains significant, we will maintain a balanced approach to new restaurant growth to ensure new restaurant quality and execution takes precedence over new restaurant quantity.”
The Visalia restaurant will feature BJ’s extensive menu, including the pub’s signature deep-dish pizza, award-winning handcrafted beer and famous Pizookie dessert. Hours of operation are usually from 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
“Our new zucchini noodles and slow roast tri-tip sirloin are quickly becoming guest favorites and reasons to visit BJ’s,” Trojan said. “In addition to our new menu items and other sales building initiatives, we are beginning to roll out our new Gold Standard Kitchen Systems to all of our restaurants in the second quarter. These new systems will focus on our kitchen organization, food prep and line cook speed to further enhance our already high quality positioning in the casual dining space.”
BJ’s reported that it’s revenues in the first quarter of this year grew by 4.3% over last year and saw restaurant sales increase by 2%.
“BJ’s strong sales momentum in the latter part of the quarter offset challenging weather conditions throughout the country and drove another quarter of solid top and bottom line results,” Trojan said. “Our comparable restaurant sales were driven by positive guest traffic growth of 0.7%, marking the sixth consecutive quarter of positive traffic, as we successfully hurdled last year’s first quarter comparable restaurant sales growth of 4.2%.”
Founded in 1978, BJ’s owns and operates 204 casual dining restaurants. All restaurants offer dine-in, take-out, delivery and large party catering. BJ’s restaurants are located in 27 states. For more BJ’s information, visit www.bjsrestaurants.com.