Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Business continues to grow in Clovis

IHOP officials are hoping the restaurant being built on North Prince Street will be open by the first week of November. The national restaurant chain is expected to employee 40-50 workers. (Staff photo by Tova Fruchtman)

While one national retailer is set to move out of town, several others are taking concrete steps to establish new stores in Clovis.

The Blockbuster video store on North Prince Street will close down at an undetermined time in the future, said North Plains Mall property manager, Cindy Banister. She hopes the store will stay until the end of the year.

According to several Clovis property managers and land developers, a number of positive things are beginning to happen here. Two national retailers are establishing locations in the mall this fall, and other businesses are expanding their scope and erecting new buildings.

Chili’s is still on track to open to the public on Sept. 30, general manager Robin Howe said. The employee search has gone well, but there are still some positions available. Store hours will be 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day of the week except Friday and Saturday, when the restaurant will be open until midnight.

The North Plains Cinema 4 will become the North Plains Cinema 7 by Dec. 17, said Russell Allen, general manager of Allen Theaters. The renovation of the building will also include a completely new snack bar and a new lobby, he said.

“It will allow us to play movies sooner than we have in the past,” Allen said. “We are completely remodeling the building. It’s a major project.”

A major sports retailer, Hibbett Sports, is due to start setting up shop in the mall over the next month, Banister said. They are a national retailer out of Birmingham, Ala., which currently operates 378 stores in 20 states, she said.

California-based Hot Topic recently opened a retail store in the mall, offering an array of apparels, accessories, gifts and music for teenagers.

IHOP construction is still underway, and the franchisees in Amarillo are anxious to open Clovis, believing it will be a high-dollar volume store, said Larry Kolek, the local agent who helped set up the IHOP deal. The target date for opening the store is the first week of November, he said.

He was not sure if the restaurant would be open 24 hours at first, but the goal of the management is to make it a 24-hour store eventually. In the initial phase, management will probably keep the dining room open until midnight, Kolek said.

He said IHOP will be looking to hire 40 or 50 employees, and that the store managers will be advertising for the positions soon.

Kolek is also involved in a building project on Llano Estacado that will bring a new Veterans Administration Outpatient Medical Clinic to the area. He said the building, which will replace the older building on Manana Boulevard, should be under construction in the next two weeks and is scheduled to open by the middle of February. The purpose of the clinic is to provide non-surgical medical care for veterans and retirees, he said.

He also said a locally owned school supply store called Inspirations will be opening soon, as well as a woman’s fashion and costume jewelry boutique called The Jewley Box and a State Farm Insurance location.

Clovis Open MRI, a company that specializes in open MRIs for the public, will be opening Oct. 4 at 821 Lexington, a company official said. An MRI is a full-body scan that can detect many medical problems well in advance of other methods. Traditional MRIs are closed in on all sides and not suitable for people with claustrophobia. Open MRIs solve this problem because they are open on three sides and much more comfortable for patients, said Greg Dennison, co-owner and general manager of Clovis Open MRI.