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Sentinel staff report–
Construction of a new 827-square-foot burger drive-thru on Auburn Boulevard has faced significant delays, causing some to wonder when — if ever — the location will open.
In October, drivers passing by 7911 Auburn Blvd. saw the building rapidly take shape, as a crane installed sections of pre-built portions of the building that were delivered to the site by truck. More recently, the restaurant chain’s signature red and checkered exterior have appeared.
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.
Franchise owner Ben Aibuedefe said in a phone interview Friday that he had planned to open in December, but faced continued delays. Although the interior is completed, he said utility connections for gas and electricity are currently stalling progress.
He’s awaiting final inspection from PG&E of underground piping before the driveway can be paved, and is also awaiting SMUD to run a wire from the street to an on-site transformer. He said utility companies are reportedly backlogged due to the volume of construction projects happening in the area.
“I’m not a cynical person. I see everything that happens in life was meant to be,” said Aibuedefe, who said he has learned through the construction process how difficult some aspect of development can be. “I’m not pointing a finger at anyone, but it may be in the future things could be better.”
Although not setting a firm date for when the location will open, pending utility connections, the franchisee said he is currently conducting interviews and expects to hire 25 or more employees, with about 15 of those being full-time positions. Applications are posted on www.snagajob.com.
The location will be open 9 a.m. to 1 a.m., Monday-Saturday, with shorter hours on Sunday.
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