Fast-casual restaurants are just what landlords ordered

A growing hunger for their fare is filling gaps left by big-box retailers.

Fast-casual restaurant chains are filling up more than just empty stomachs around the Twin Cities.

These designer burger joints are also filling the spaces left by big-box and junior-box retailers like Circuit City, Ultimate Electronics, Blockbuster and others who have either gone out of business or downsized dramatically.

Veteran retail broker Chris Simmons of Colliers International -- a tenant representative whose extensive list of clients include Smashburger, Wendy's, Chipotle, Aldi, Sears and Kmart -- lauded the expansion of the upscale "quick-service" restaurants in the Twin Cities. The concept combines the speed of fast-food outlets like McDonald's and Wendy's with the fresh, gourmet ingredients of a higher-scale eatery.

Posted on January 20, 2012 and filed under Fast Casual.