Chili’s construction hit by long delay

Chili's has dropped its bid to build a restaurant in Maricopa. The fast-casual dining chain was slated to build in The Wells but has decided against a location in Maricopa at this time. Renderings of what Chili's might have been. [Kidder Mathews]

A project to bring the first Chili’s Grill & Bar to Maricopa is no longer “full steam ahead.”

The chain restaurant’s entry into the city has been postponed, according to a representative of parent company Brinker International.

The Brinker rep, who declined to be identified, said the Maricopa restaurant is “still at least 18 months out.”

The rep declined to comment on the reasons for the delay, saying he did not have additional information to share at this time.

“We are continuing to open new restaurants every month and expand the Chili’s footprint across the country, but it will just be a bit longer on this one than was once planned,” he said.

In December, Maricopans were given reason to believe the wait for the popular chain restaurant would be relatively short.

“I told you, everyday new things are coming to the City of Maricopa!” Mayor Christian Price wrote in a Dec. 6 Facebook post. “This one has been in the works for some time, and they even announced over a year ago. But then they backed off for about a year then charged full steam ahead. Nice to see this area growing. Enjoy!”

Chuck Wells, a senior vice president at Kidder Mathews retail real estate brokerage in Phoenix, which is working on the project, told InMaricopa at the time that his best guess was a November 2022 opening.

Construction was expected to take about six months.

Though not cited by the Brinker rep, the climbing cost of construction – whether due to supply chain shortages or inflation – is delaying residential and commercial projects nationwide.

The restaurant is proposed for the northeast corner of Stonegate Road and Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway in The Wells shopping center, just west of Jiffy Lube. The property has been graded and is shovel-ready as soon as plans and elevations are approved by the City. A preliminary site plan calls for 112 parking spaces, plus five handicapped spots and six spaces dedicated for to-go orders.

According to the project narrative submitted to the City of Maricopa by Brinker, the Chili’s at the Wells will cover 5,177 square feet, much larger than the chain’s standard footprint.

Founded in 1975, Chill’s has grown to 1,225 locations across the United States. It is owned by Brinker International, which owns, operates or franchises more than 1,600 restaurants in 28 countries, including Maggiano’s Little Italy and It’s Just Wings.