The foundations have been laid for two new Marana restaurants with familiar local names. Chuy’s Mesquite Broiler and Bisbee Breakfast Club are coming to North Sandario Road, the latest tenants of Marana’s wide-ranging long-term Main Street Project off Interstate 10.

They will join McDonald’s, which opened in late 2014 at 13934 N. Sandario — the first tenant of the 28-acre planned retail and entertainment development. The plan, which could play out over the next couple decades, aims to create a downtown area for the agriculture-centered northwest town, said Marana Economic Development Specialist Heath Vescovi-Chiordi.

Town officials hope the Marana Main Street Project, which will include retail, restaurants and lodging, will be the gateway off I-10 that will create more than just a pit stop but a true sense of place.

Construction crews broke ground in early June on the twin restaurants, located next to each other on North Sandario at the roundabout. Devin Sweeters, general manager of Chuy’s Oro Valley restaurant, said they expect to open in late October or early November. Terry Kyte, whose family owns and operates six Bisbee Breakfast Club locations, including four in Tucson, said they anticipate opening late in the year “as a nice Christmas gift to our customers.”

This will be the second Marana location for both chains. Chuy’s, which has five Tucson-area locations, has a storefront restaurant at 6741 N. Thornydale Road. Since late 2011, Bisbee has been in an old Pizza Hut at 4131 W. Ina Road.

The Ina Road location was the first outpost outside the diner’s namesake Bisbee birthplace, where it opened in 2005 in a historic pharmacy building in the Lowell district. Since then, Bisbee Breakfast Club has opened diners on Tucson’s east side, midtown and foothills areas. In early 2012, it tiptoed into the Phoenix market with a restaurant in Mesa.

“The Ina store was sort of the test to see if the weird idea of moving the Bisbee Breakfast Club outside of Bisbee was a good idea,” said Kyte, adding that it took a couple of years for Tucson residents to catch on. But once they did, it didn’t take long to grow the chain.

Kyte said they are taking a similar approach to the Phoenix market, where the restaurant has really come into its own.

“I think it took a couple of years for the Mesa location to catch on, but they have been growing pretty steadily the past two or three years,” he said. “We are actively looking into more locations in the Phoenix area.”

Chuy’s also is looking to expand its footprint in Tucson and beyond including in Sahuarita, where the company is pursuing possible locations, Sweeters said.

Vescovi-Chiordi said one of the goals with the Marana Main Street Project is to create something more than a business-heavy highway exit. And he said it might take decades, even as the town has offered incentives including assistance infrastructure to developers who share their vision.

“What we are trying to do is to make sure we can develop our main street that harkens back to the feel of a traditional main street,” he said.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch

Cathalena has covered music for the Star for the past 20 years. She's a graduate of Arizona State University has worked at Sedona Red Rock News, Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, New York; and USA Today.