Tex-Mex chain selects San Marcos for expansion

Will Anderson |
Source: Austin Business Journal

Chuy’s is headed to San Marcos, strengthening its presence it its home state even as fast revenue growth fuels its expansion across the country.

The Austin-based Tex-Mex restaurant chain, which has 69 locations in 14 states, has signed a lease for 6,500 square feet plus a patio in the Springtown Shopping Center a few blocks south of Texas State University. The company plans to open 11-13 restaurants this year and double the total number of restaurants it owns over the next three to five years, according to an investor presentation posted on its website.

Construction in San Marcos is set to begin in March with a planned opening this summer.

The restaurant chain is owned by Chuy’s Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: CHUY). The company’s share price grew 58.1 percent in 2015, the year’s best performance by any Austin-based public company. Additionally, revenue has grown from $14.7 million in 2009 to $42.5 million in 2014, the company said, a compounded annual growth rate of 23.6 percent.

Revenue for 2015 is not yet available because the company does not report fourth-quarter financial information until March 1 but Chuy’s said the its samestore sales, a key retail metric, grew 2.9 percent last year.

For its San Marcos location, Chuy’s chose a shopping center that is undergoing a $27.4 million renovation by Endeavor Real Estate Group LLC. The Austinbased commercial real estate company has also signed leases to bring The Spot, a luxury movie theater and bowling alley chain owned by EVO Entertainment Group, and a Gold’s Gym to the center.

Endeavor acquired Springtown for an undisclosed price in 2014, when it had a 10.5 percent occupancy rate.

“While we still have work ahead of us in order to stabilize Springtown, we believe that our tenant mix positions the center to be the retail and entertainment draw for the students at Texas State and the residents of San Marcos,” Buck Cody, principal with Endeavor, said in an announcement.

The gym is set to open this month and the movie theater is expected to open this summer.