A second Hobby Lobby, new theater, more stores and restaurants coming

Fresno is getting another Hobby Lobby, along with a movie theater and a slew of other stores and restaurants.

The newcomers will open at Marketplace at El Paseo, the shopping center with Target at Highway 99 and Herndon Avenue. Construction on the second phase of the center will start this summer just south of the existing center.

A few rumors about Hobby Lobby, a craft and home decor store, opening a second location have circulated, but the store has signed a lease with the center, confirmed Chris Shane, a developer and managing partner of Gryphon Capital that’s behind the center. If all goes as planned, the businesses will open in fall 2019.

Hobby Lobby has lots of fans in Fresno and drew big crowds when its first store opened on Blackstone Avenue in 2016.

“They’re doing really well, this was just a natural fit for their second location,” Shane said.

Also, Regal Cinemas is planning a 50,000-square-foot theater in the center. It will be Regal’s higher-end concept. Those theaters often have bars and different food options, but it wasn’t immediately clear what would be different about the northwest Fresno theater.

Regal did not immediately return a phone call about the theater.

And craft beer fans, take note: “I can’t announce who it is, but we’ve got a brewery we’re in final discussions with,” Shane said.

Other new businesses opening in the center: children’s clothing store Carter’s, Cold Stone Creamery and Mexican restaurant and bar Qué Pasa!

More are coming.

“We’ve got a bunch of restaurants and other shops that we’re in negotiations with,” Shane said.

Panera Bread opened Friday in the first phase of the center near Herndon Avenue.

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