Biz Beat

Modesto will be able to make this burger a Habit

Construction has begun on an expansion at the Briggsmore Square Shopping Center in Modesto.
Construction has begun on an expansion at the Briggsmore Square Shopping Center in Modesto. aalfaro@modbee.com

Ruby Hansen will be pleased to learn that her tip panned out.

On Sunday, I wrote about what was happening at the shopping center at McHenry and Briggsmore avenues in Modesto. That includes a new building, going up now, that will house the bakery and restaurant Panera, and another site, which hasn’t progressed quite as far, where Starbucks will be moving to a stand-alone spot.

But I didn’t know what was going into the other spots in both buildings until I spoke with Chris Vierra this week. His company, VVH Consulting Engineers, is handling the project. He’s also mayor of Ceres.

Vierra told me a dental office will take up the rest of the Panera building. Going into the building with Starbucks is a Chipotle, as Hansen had heard, and the best hamburger in the country. That’s what Consumer Reports last year rated the Habit Burger Grill, a Santa Barbara-based chain of restaurants.

This will be Habit’s first site in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

I couldn’t reach anyone with Habit to give me any more information about plans for the Modesto site. But I did do some research, contacting my sister-in-law, who went to the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her take on Habit: “They have very good burgers and great fries. ... They taste like nothing’s been frozen.”

She said the chain also offers healthy ways to dress up a burger – including turkey burgers, avocado and sprouts.

Its menu includes a variety of chargrilled burgers; grilled chicken; tri-tip; tuna steak and other sandwiches; Cobb, Caesar and other salads; and sides that range from french fries to tempura green beans.

Thanks again to everyone who wrote in or called to ask what was happening at the site. As I learn more, I’ll keep you posted.

Have an item for Business Beat? Breaking News Editor Patty Guerra can be reached at pguerra@modbee.com or (209) 578-2343. Follow her on Twitter @PattyGuerra.

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