Queensgate is developing quite the burger Habit

Construction is underway in front of the Richland Walmart for the Tri-Cities’ newest burger restaurant.

The Habit Burger Grill, a California-based chain, is expected to open at 2831 Duportail St. in summer 2021, according to Yakima-based developer Hogback Development.

General contractor Stephens & Sons Construction of Yakima is building the 2,928-square-foot restaurant with a 470-square-foot covered patio area.

The fast-food restaurant specializes in serving made-to-order burgers and sandwiches featuring tri-tip steak, chicken and sushi-grade ahi tuna cooked over an open flame.

It also offers made-to-order salads and a selection of sides, shakes and malts.

The new restaurant joins an area home to several other burger joints: McDonald’s is directly across the street. Also nearby are Five Guys, Bob’s Burgers & Brews and Burger King.

Hogback received permit approval for the $600,000 construction project in early January. The site was once home to a USA gas station.

Hogback also is building a Habit Burger at 2400 W. Nob Hill Blvd. in Yakima, with a planned spring opening. The Richland and Yakima locations will be the first ones in Eastern Washington. There are nine Habit Burgers on the west side.

A spokeswoman for Habit Burger told the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business a year ago, before the pandemic hit, that it hoped to make its Tri-City debut later in summer 2020. It had been considering opening in a strip mall developed by Hogback in front of Columbia Center’s JC Penney that’s home to Starbucks and soon, MOD Pizza, but it hadn’t finalized the lease.

Hogback also developed Sandifur Crossing, a new development on Road 68 in Pasco. Anchored by Grocery Outlet, the latest phase added Porter’s Real Barbecue and Jamba.

The first Habit Burger Grill opened in Santa Barbara, California in 1969.

The chain has more than 275 restaurants in 14 states throughout Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Washington, as well as eight international locations.

Habit Burgers’ parent company is Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM), based in Louisville, Kentucky, which has over 50,000 restaurants in more than 150 countries and territories primarily operating KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants.

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