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Updated 12:38 p.m., Feb. 8th–
By Mike Hazlip— The owner of the one of the area’s first Rally’s/Checkers burger restaurant continues to move forward despite delays, with plans to open in March.
Franchise owner Ben Aibuedefe told The Sentinel in a phone call Saturday he had hoped to open the drive-thru restaurant last December, but delays have dragged the timeline out longer.
“Man proposes, God disposes,” he said, repeating a comment he’s shared in prior interviews. “I really want to open. Unfortunately that’s how life works, but we will get it open one way or the other.”
The Florida-based Checkers Drive-In Restaurant Inc. currently has over 800 locations nationwide, but the only current location in the Sacramento region opened sometime last year on Florin Road. The restaurant chain is marketed under the names Rally’s and Checkers, and is known for seasoned fries, big burgers, chicken wings and milkshakes.
Aibuedefe didn’t give specific details about the delay, simply saying: “It’s just one of those things.” He filed initial plans for the building in February 2018 and received Planning Commission approval in June of the same year.
Looking back on the project, Aibuedefe said there are things he would have done differently, but he appreciates the hard work that has gone into the project.
“Everyone involved has been doing their ultimate best to get it done,” he said.
The business owner said he chose to open the restaurant in Citrus Heights because of the Auburn Boulevard redevelopment plan. The restaurant’s 827-square-foot modular design began taking shape earlier this year and features a drive-thru window, with no indoor seating by design.
Initial reports referred to the restaurant as Checkers, but Aibuedefe said all West Coast locations of the Checkers/Rally’s restaurants are named Rally’s.
*Correction: An original version of this story incorrectly referred to Citrus Heights being the first location of a Rally’s in the Sacramento region. The article has since been updated to note a new Rally’s that opened on Florin Road.
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