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Texas Roadhouse eyes Latham

Latham Mall owners have announced another new tenant in as part of its multi-million-dollar renovation.

Texas Roadhouse, a Louisville-based pub and grill, announced last week that it would be opening up its fifth store in the state and the first in the Capital District. The restaurant opened in 1993 and currently operates 270 restaurants in 44 states.

Texas Roadhouse is the second eatery to announce plans to move into the mall. Bonefish Grill is also planning to set up shop as the mall undergoes renovations.

Those renovations include an open-air design that will add a courtyard with an updated interior and exterior. The renovations have been on the back burner for nearly three years now, as Latham Mall owner Eugene Weiss and the builders changed the design.

In late November, Weiss submitted final plans to town planners.

Shortly afterward, Weiss and EW Enterprises LLC, the mall's real-estate owner, settled on a design and began announcing the new tenants.

Texas Roadhouse will be built outside the mall on a detached pad, said Jim Earley, director of marketing for E.W. Enterprises.

The company is building both outside and inside the mall to make the most out of its available space and remain competitive in a regional boom in mall redevelopment.

"We are looking at a number of different options for both the interior and exterior to add tenants. There is only so much space we can provide for. We are actively courting a lot of name-brand stores," Earley said.

When development begins, and as the weeks go on, the company will be making more announcements of new tenants, Earley said. The renovations include the addition of several anchor tenants like Texas Roadhouse, and smaller specialty shops providing a mix of apparel, restaurants and entertainment. Existing mall tenants, including J.C. Penney, Lowe's Home Improvement Center, Burlington Coat Factory and Regal Cinemas, will stay.

"We are excited to open our first location in the Capital Region," said New York market partner for Texas Roadhouse, Jerry DiCroce in a written statement. "We especially like the Latham market, as it is a growing area where people travel between work, shopping and home."

The restaurant will bring 165 service and waitstaff positions to the area.

Weiss plans to break ground on the renovations next month, on what he calls a cross between a traditional mall and lifestyle center.

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