Portage is getting an Arby's and more in 2020

Lynn Holdings LLC and the city of Portage shared good news for residents who want more fast food options in 2020.

Construction of a three-tenant building located between Aldi and Pizza Ranch on New Pinery Road should be completed in August and shortly thereafter an Arby’s restaurant will open for business, property owner Richard Lynn said. In the next two weeks, Lynn Holdings expects to announce the other two tenants which include a national retail store that will open in the center of the property and another restaurant with a drive thru on the opposite side of Arby’s.

Each of the three tenants will have about 2,400 square feet of space, Lynn said. Crews laid the foundation for the building in the fall and started construction in March.

“It’ll be a good year for Portage business development despite COVID-19,” Sobiek said of the activity in Portage. “I’m pleased that many developers and businesses can see a future on the other side of the pandemic.”

Lynn said he’s having discussions with Starbucks and Caribou Coffee franchisees and expects one of the two coffee chains will open on the north side of Portage in 2020.

“If everybody sits back and worries about themselves, it will be a long (economic) recovery,” Lynn said of working with businesses and developing property during the coronavirus pandemic. “We’re also working really tightly with our current tenants because our goal is to make sure all of them survive this. We’re doing our part.”

Jennifer Ostrowski and her brother Jeremy Ostrowski from Stevens Point expect to open the Arby’s restaurant in September and they are now accepting job applications at arbysostrowski.com. The Portage restaurant will employ about 20 people.

Jennifer Ostrowski said the family currently owns 10 Arby’s restaurants (all in Wisconsin) and is now constructing another one in Westfield. The Westfield Arby’s is also expected to open in September.

“We’re super excited to come to Portage and we know a lot of people have wanted one there for a long time,” she said.

Sobiek said new developers and businesses have been particularly impressed by the mutual success of the three grocery stores located on the city’s north side — Aldi, Walmart and Festival Foods — which will be close to the new restaurants.

“There’s a buzz and they want to be a part of it,” Sobiek said of new businesses. “There’s a lucrative market here and they’ve seen some really impressive growth” in recent years.

“It’s been a very busy two or three months for the city and a lot of people are having a hard time believing that” due to public health concerns and the economic struggles, for some, that came with it,” Sobiek said. “But when you really think about fast food and convenience stores, they provide the option of picking up food without actually sitting down to eat.”

“The word is out there that Portage is a business-friendly, growing and happening community,” Sobiek said. “It’s just a positive environment for people to work in and live and it has taken quite a few years to build that up. There’s more to come.”

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