Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 | 6 p.m.
A California-based chain that touts its made-to-order food has opened the first new restaurant in a redevelopment district near the new North Las Vegas City Hall.
Farmer Boys Restaurant, a “quick-casual” eatery, opened in December at 2341 Las Vegas Blvd. North, across the street from the North Las Vegas Justice Facility.
City officials hoped the $142 million city hall would spur growth throughout downtown North Las Vegas. Although slow to show major results, the redevelopment project has made progress, with an El Super supermarket locating down the street and a renovated Jerry’s Nugget Casino next door.
Franchise owner Jimmy Philippou chose downtown North Las Vegas as the spot for the third Farmer Boys outside of California (where the 30-year-old franchise originally started) after his first Farmer Boys at 4450 N. Lamb Blvd. did well. A third Farmer Boys Restaurant is in the valley at 5847 S. Decatur Blvd.
“At the time we found the location, (the city) wasn’t in a struggle,” Philippou said. “I still think that we are going to do well here. I believe in the people of North Las Vegas really trying to beautify this area.”
The restaurant’s walking distance from city buildings and a corner location also attracted Philippou, who said many court and city staff members come in for lunch.
In building the 3,300-square-foot restaurant, Philippou participated in a North Las Vegas Redevelopment Agency incentive program. For upgrading surrounding landscaping, signage, lighting and improving a nearby bus stop, the restaurant received a $54,000 tax reimbursement, said Brad Percell, the city’s redevelopment coordinator.
“Taxpaying people get something from the improvements,” said Percell, who noted such public improvements are instantly noticed. “It entices people to redevelop downtown.”
Nearby, Jerry’s Nugget Casino has received $494,000 in tax reimbursements for its public improvements.
Farmer Boys, which also offers a drive-thru option, employs 25 to 30 mostly North Las Vegas residents. But it’s hardly a fast-food joint, Philippou said.
“We’re not a McDonalds, we’re not a Wendy’s,” he said. “Our burgers are all made fresh. Don’t come in and expect to get your food in two minutes. With the drive thru, we try to get orders out within seven minutes.”
The building’s interior design also caters to its surroundings. With law-oriented décor, law books, scales of justice and a marble countertop, the sit-down area looks far from a fast-food restaurant.
The sign on the door reads “Breakfast, Burgers & More,” and Philippou said customers could expect orders made fresh. On the menu: everything from salads to sandwiches to desserts, but Philippou encourages customers to come in for the breakfast.
“I think we have a better breakfast than anybody in town,” he said.