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RESTAURANT INDUSTRY NEWS
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Wahoo's relocates Fashion Island store

The popular chain is moving from the upper level to make way for a new movie-theater concept, says Co-Founder Wing Lam.

By Kristen SchottPublished: December 10, 2010 08:52 AM

Changes are ahead for Wahoo's Fish Taco's Fashion Island eatery. The popular restaurant chain next year will relocate from its current upper-level location to a spot at the lower-level food court area to make way for a new theater concept, said Co-Founder Wing Lam.

Santa Ana-based Wahoo's, which operates 17 stores in Orange County, including the UCI campus shop, has been located at the upscale retail destination for about seven years. It’s among the brand's top 10 shops in terms of volume – and Lam said he's unsure how the move will affect business.

"We hope to maintain our sales," said Lam, who noted one of his main concerns about the move is disrupting the business. "The last thing you want to do is give people a reason not to come see you.”

He said the new shop will open about the same time the other one closes, so "there won't be any down time."

The change is slated to occur next spring or summer at the Irvine Co.-owned retail destination, which recently underwent a $100 million renovation that included a new mix of about 20 stores and restaurants.

Updates include the addition of True Food Kitchen and Rustica, as well as increased patio dining at 59th & Lex at Bloomingdale's, and the expansion and relocation of Pain du Monde to provide indoor and outdoor seating. Two other new casual eateries – Hana Grill, scheduled to open this month, and Stone Oven, set for the spring – will soon join the Atrium Cafes.

Officials did not offer any comments on Wahoo's move. But Lam is taking it all in stride: "Let's work together to come up with a good solution for us, our customers and the employees of Fashion Island."

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