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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
Gridiron Burgers Heading to Downtown Knoxville
Gridiron Burgers
January 3, 2008 - Downtown Knoxville will have another great dining option later this year when the latest Gridiron Burgers opens its doors next to the Regal Riviera 8 Theater.

Knoxville City Council unanimously approved a five-year lease for the casual, family-friendly and football-themed restaurant in the retail space adjacent to the theater. Council also approved spending $300,000 to build out the shell space.

The downtown cinema project included the retail shell with the idea it would eventually be built out when a business reached a lease agreement for the property.

"This is going to be a great addition to downtown and I think people will really enjoy this restaurant," said Mayor Bill Haslam, "and we're looking forward to working with Collin Cope."

Cope, Gridiron's owner, told council he hopes to be open at the new location, which is on the north side of the theater, this summer.

Cope was a longtime Ruby Tuesday executive before striking out on his own with his first Gridiron Burgers in Powell in 2006 and followed that with one in Farragut last year.

He said that he had considered other possible locations in downtown before reaching the agreement to move in next to the theater.

"Ever since I started my own company I've looked downtown," Cope said. "I like the momentum Mayor Haslam has started to redevelop downtown and I wanted to be part of it."

The lease is between Cope's company and the Public Building Authority, which manages city-owned properties.

Conversion Properties Inc., representing PBA, negotiated the lease agreement.

It calls for an initial five-year term with the option for two additional five-year terms.

Rent will be $56,240 per year for the initial term, $62,160 for the first extended term and $68,820 for a second extended term of five years.

The lease period will not start until the build out of the space is completed.

For Immediate Release
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