Updated 2:10 p.m. with comments from a manager and owner of two other businesses.
As part of the City Council's plans to bring more businesses downtown as part of the , the Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant just finalized plans on opening a new location on Broadway in Redwood City.
“We are very excited about this” Mayor Jeff Ira said. “The restaurant will be a great addition to the city and a perfect fit for the location.”
There is no word on when the restaurant’s opening will be, but it is many months off.
The restaurant will occupy the two vacant spaces that are located in the cinema/retail complex on the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Broadway. The development includes a 20-screen movie theater, 85,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space and a public parking garage. It is the first time those spaces will be occupied since the cinema opened in 2006.
“It is hard to find businesses that go well with the theater,” Ira said. “They have to be reasonably priced and family-orientated; the Old Spaghetti Factory is both.”
Although the city does not own the cinema property, it played a major role in attracting the new restaurant.
“We played a number of different roles. We are providing redevelopment monies and being a bit more proactive about everything,” Ira said.
Ira thinks it is important to “look at all aspects of the opportunities before us and see what it will take to make things happen.” He also said a new philosophy and “can-do attitude” is sweeping through City Hall. “We are asking how we can make it work with this or that project,” he said. “Facing the challenges of a proposed project and asking what it can do and how it will benefit everyone.”
But many in the downtown area feel there are too many restaurants already and another one will just cut into everyone else’s business.
"This does create more competition because people are initially going to want to try out the new restaurant," said Adam Ocegueda, manager at on Broadway. "But we feel confident enough in our food to know that even though there are more choices, they won't stop coming to our restaurant."
Others welcomed the new addition.
“Keep ‘em coming!” said Executive Chef Donato Scotti of . “It can only benefit all the businesses by bringing more people to downtown city.”
“Good business people know the more they surround themselves with good businesses, the more successful everyone is going to be,” Ira said. “Everyone should be excited about this.”
Other downtown business owner shares Ira’s excitement. Diane Cusimano, who along with husband Renato owns the on Main Street, thinks “the more the merrier.”
“We are all trying desperately to get more people to come to our downtown and having another quality business is great,” she added.
The City Council recently approved the city’s downtown precise plan that will allow 500,000 square feet of office space and 100,000 square feet of retail space. The plan will also allow 2,500 residential units and 200 hotel rooms.
The Old Spaghetti Factory restaurant chain has 16 other locations in California and is owned by the Dussin Group, which owns and operates a portfolio of distinctive establishments.