East Valley Tribune: Talking Shop

Talking Shop

Wednesday 10/26/2011
McDonald's debuts new Happy Meal here on Friday

McDonald's may not want anyone crusading against dirty play equipment in its Arizona stores -- they banned a Chandler woman who teaches at ASU from several local restaurants after she garnered national attention for her videos and research on filthy conditions. But they're not letting that get in the way of rolling out their new, healthier Happy Meal at Arizona restaurants on Friday.

The iconic kids' meal now automatically will include a half-cup of apple slices as a side with four chicken McNuggets, hamburger or cheeseburger and choice of beverage, including fat-free chocolate milk or 1 percent white milk. The Happy Meal also comes with a downsized offering of fries; customers who don't want those can opt for a second bag of apple slices instead.

Available nationwide in the first quarter of 2012, the new Happy Meal is part of McDonald's recently announced efforts to emphasize nutrition more in its menu.

Posted in Talking shop, Money, Arizona, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Tempe, Queen creek, Apache junction, The valley on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 3:21 pm. Updated: 4:51 pm.

Tuesday 10/25/2011
U.S. Egg opens 4th Valley eatery in Chandler

U.S. Egg recently opened a fourth Valley location in Chandler. The family owned and operated restaurant concept is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and already had locations in Tempe, Scottsdale and Phoenix.

The new East Valley site was built from the ground up at 5840 W. Chandler Blvd., on the corner with Kyrene Road. It seats 210 inside and out with a patio and employs about 40 workers.

The dining room features what the company calls “nationalistic” eco-friendly artwork, including a U.S. flag made from recycled egg cartons, by local artist Jeff Zischke. “We are still looking to grow and expand to other parts of the Phoenix metro area, while also maintaining local support and community relationships,” said co-owner Gebran Gebran.

In addition to the new location, U.S. Egg completely renovated its original Tempe location at 131 E. Baseline Road earlier this summer. The restaurant in Scottsdale will be renovated in April 2012.

Posted in Talking shop, Money, Tempe, Chandler, The valley, Dining, Get out on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 8:30 pm. | Tags: U.s. Egg , Dining , Food , Business , Expansion , Talking Shop

Goodwill store part of Mesa corner's rebirth

A Mesa eyesore is coming back to life. The vacant retail center on the northeast corner of University Drive and Greenfield Road once housed a Fry’s grocery, but the 100,000-square-foot site has been vacant and quiet for years. Come Nov. 4, the corner will be home to a new 38,000-square-foot Goodwill thrift store.

Valley real estate magnate Michael Pollack says he received more than 100 emails and letters from people in the neighborhood before he bought the center for about $2 million and began renovating it.

The shopping center also now includes a cafe and martial arts studio.

In a statement, Pollack, a longtime supporter of Goodwill and its job training programs, said the corner’s possibilities are an example of the power of infill projects.

“I just knew I could make it better and make a difference,” he said. “So we walked around the neighborhood, met some of the neighbors and I asked them ‘How would you like it if I renovated the center?’ ”

The new Goodwill store, 4412 E. University, will be dedicated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony 9 a.m. Nov. 4 with a marching band and door prizes.

Posted in Talking shop, Mesa, Money, Money on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 5:30 am. | Tags: Talking Shop , Goodwill , Shopping , Business , Retail , Pollack , Michael Pollack

Tuesday 10/18/2011
Arizona toys take Manhattan

Posted in Talking shop, Money, Mesa, Arizona, Columns, Money, Get out, East valley voices on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 10:48 am. Updated: 2:31 pm. | Tags: Hide

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