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Expanding Restaurants Targeting Closed Sites

From The Wall Street Journal's Paul Ziobro: "As restaurant chains go out of business or prune their store counts in the tough economy, competitors are jumping on the opportunity to move into the vacated locations as a way to expand quickly and cheaply. Restaurants can convert their competitors' closed sites to their own brands at a lower cost than building new restaurants from scratch, industry executives note. Incoming businesses also have the upper hand in negotiating rents with landlords stuck with empty restaurant space. ... Buffalo Wild Wings Inc., a sports-themed bar chain based in Minneapolis, is one of the companies emphasizing conversions as it expands. Over the past two years, it has acquired eight Don Pablo's restaurants and turned them into new versions of its sports-themed bar chain. As of the end of the year, Buffalo Wild Wings had 560 sites."

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