Hitcents plans concepts for new restaurants after closure

Three out of the five restaurants in Hitcents Park Plaza have closed to undergo renovations and move in new restaurant concepts. (Miranda Pederson/Daily News)

Three of Hitcents Park Plaza’s restaurants are closed to make way for new restaurants.

The doors and windows of Tres Molinos, Pagoda Asian Cafe and Brick & Basil Pizzeria – Hitcents’ three fast-casual restaurants – were covered Saturday in brown paper. A sign on the entrance near Tres Molinos read, “Temporarily closed for renivations (sic). New restaurants coming soon!”

The restaurants officially closed Saturday. Mariah’s and 6-4-3 Sports Bar remain open.

Clinton Mills, co-founder of Hitcents and president of MR Group, said the three restaurants didn’t fit in with the “downtown destination” atmosphere Mills and Hitcents co-founders Ed and Chris Mills want to create.

“What we noticed was that people are going to 6-4-3 and Mariah’s,” Mills said.

Mills said the three fast-casual restaurants likely weren’t getting as much business because customers had to put in a lot of effort for a quick-service meal, namely having to park somewhere in the parking garage and walk down to the restaurants.

“I think we underestimated the parking challenges that are there,” Mills said.

Hitcents plans to “redesign the concept and improve the experience,” according to a news release from Hitcents.

“What we’re really looking into is revamping the concepts into full-service restaurants,” Mills said.

The fast-casual restaurants have not attracted the customer base Hitcents expected, according to the release.

Mills said they will be working with an architect to devise new looks for the restaurants. They are tentatively planning to keep the Mexican and Asian cuisine but may nix the pizzeria. Mills said the restaurants have been open long enough that he and the Hitcents management team have been able to gather data to determine what dishes are most popular with customers.

Mills said it’s difficult to put a time frame on the completion of the project.

“We want to make sure we’re doing the best for the community that we can,” Mills said.

The Hitcents restaurants employed about 200 people. Some of those employees are cross-trained, Mills said, so they will stay on and work at Mariah’s or 6-4-3. When the new restaurants open, Mills said they want the other employees to return because Hitcents has built relationships with them.

Mariah’s and 6-4-3 Sports Bar continue to thrive and will not be affected by the restructuring, according to the release. 6-4-3 is nominated in this year’s Best of Bowling Green Awards in the Best New Restaurant category.  

— Follow business reporter Monica Spees on Twitter on twitter.com/BGDNbusiness or visit bgdailynews.com.

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(7) comments

kgg

"Fast Casual" is the up and coming concept in the industry. Look at the newest, most popular restaurants in BG, many are Fast Casual. Or maybe it was marketing through lack of brand recognition. When a franchise moves to town, they have built in name recognition. Tres Molinos?? Nope never heard of it. In other words, suck it up, and put a name brand restaurant in there.
Of course maybe it was 4 restaurants and a sports bar within one city block. Looks like a Mall Food Court!!

BigBadWolf

What don't you like eating in front of a brick wall? Come on Mills boys get someone like Chef Riggs involved in your venture if you want to keep overcharging for food. At least Chef Riggs would provide some value and taste to help draw. Poor planning and execution = poor taste and few customers.

StopAndThink

What I can't figure is why when they built the parking garage, did they put the restaurants on the side facing way from the square and instead facing direct;y into the outfield fens of the baseball field. They are hidden back there and not even noticed. We ate at Mariah's the same day as the International Festival and it was dead.

Kentuckian4

Food at Tres Molinos was good, but they messed up the order on 3 consecutive visits. Mariah's is terrible, but it has a loyal following for some reason. I have no idea what anyone means by a parking problem or being a pain to get to. Parking is more than ample, and it's literally right next to the restaurants. Better service + some advertising--no one knew these places existed--would have helped.

kywonder

With all the outside seating completely empty at lunch, that tells you something. Food and service is just short of horrible.

AJ

The beginning of the end down there. I've never been down there when it wasn't dead as a doornail. What a shame they moved Mariah's. All the restaurants are a complete pain to get to. None are worth the effort.

saneperson

gotta love it when they just make it as they go. Why not do a little research?
ask some people? get the people at wku to do a actual focus group,

or just spend more money
take another guess based on your best guess, which was flat out wrong before
and do it again later

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