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Border Grill coming to Houghton soon

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Border Grill is expanding to Houghton. The location they have chosen to work with in the building that previously housed Kentucky Fried Chicken/Long John Silver’s. Construction is planned to be finished this summer.

HOUGHTON — Border Grill is expanding to Houghton.

The Mexican fast-casual restaurant will be moving into the building on Ridge Road that previously housed a Kentucky Fried Chicken/Long John Silver’s. Founded in 1997, it has three locations in Marquette and Negaunee.

Owner Chris Conklin said Houghton made sense for expansion, being a university town. The tight-knit feel of the community also fits with the restaurant’s priorities, he said Wednesday.

“We want to be a productive and positive influence in the community, to be a part of the community, not just be a business in the community,” he said.

Conklin did not have hard numbers for how much of Border Grill’s existing business came from Copper Country residents, but said some residents had already been members of Border Grill’s rewards program. Border Grill has also done some catering for Michigan Tech teams, said Nathan Mileski, director of operations and executive chef. Sports teams from the area have also stopped there on away trips, he said.

A firm opening date has not been set. Next week, Border Grill will begin preparing the site for construction. Conklin said they hope to open sometime this summer.

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