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By Mike Hazlip—
A former Goodwill building on Lichen Drive is now slated to become a drive-thru California Burrito restaurant after a non-compete clause halted progress last year on a proposed Burger King at the site.
Several banners announcing California Burrito will be “coming soon” can now be seen hanging at the construction site, located at 7858 Lichen Drive. A website for California Burrito shows 10 locations throughout the region, including Sacramento, Carmichael, Antioch, Vacaville, Suisun City, West Sacramento, North Highlands, and Lodi.
The nearest locations on Auburn Boulevard and Fair Oaks Boulevard are both open 24 hours. The new site has an existing drive-thru, from when the location was a Kentucky Fried Chicken, prior to becoming a Goodwill donation center.
An online menu for California Burrito shows the restaurant’s locations offer breakfast burritos, enchiladas, seafood, tostadas, tortas and other Mexican foods. An employee who spoke with The Sentinel by phone Thursday confirmed the business is family owned, but could not immediately provide details on the new location.
A previous attempt last year by a Burger King franchise owner to remodel the building on Lichen Drive was blocked after discovery of a 1987 non-compete clause in favor of the adjacent McDonald’s restaurant.
Franchise owner Sunny Ghai told The Sentinel in January he was not aware of the non-compete clause before he began the project.
“As we were about to start work we were informed by the Landlord that he had found out that McDonald’s had put a restriction on the property years ago (1987) when both properties were owned by the same owner,” Ghai said.
Public documents obtained by The Sentinel show an agreement for the property that prevents a competing restaurant from opening. Competing business is defined in the document as any business that generates more than 25% of it’s gross annual sales from hamburgers.
Ghai’s Lodi-based Quickserve Enterprises Inc., owns more than 100 Burger Kings, and over 30 Taco Bells, according to a 2019 report by Franchising.com.
He plans to continue opening a Burger King franchise locations along Greenback Lane near Sunrise Mall.
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