New restaurant taking on the challenge of opening in Downtown Fresno

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At the corner of Kern and L Streets, in the historic Hotel Virginia building, a new chef is in town. (KFSN)

In Downtown Fresno, restaurants either thrive or just can't survive. At the corner of Kern and L Streets, in the historic Hotel Virginia building, a new chef is in town.

"I found that in Downtown Fresno there wasn't really a spot to get fries and a burger and a milkshake. Kind of good American faire," said Catherine Heaney, Char Burger owner.

This August Heaney is opening Char Burger and their focus is lightning fast service.

"I would say we could probably do a burger and fries in four minutes. So we're trying to make it really-- fast."

At just 28 Heaney opened Char in her hometown of Visalia. The small restaurant-- formerly known as Char-Cu-Ter-Ie-- is where she learned how to run a restaurant.

Like any new business, she expects there will be growing pains.

Opening up a store in Downtown Fresno is not easy. The city has seen many open up only to close shortly after. But there's one shop that's stood the test of time for decades.

George's Shish Kabob inside the Galleria at Civic Center Square has been around since 1986. Art Imirian knows what it takes to survive in Downtown Fresno and said service speed is a huge part of their success.

"Most of the time it's people. They're in and out and need to go back to work, and we just get the food out as fast as possible."

It's not a fast food joint, but it's a speedy spot for downtown workers. And it could be the reason they've been around for decades.

"My customers are very loyal. My staff-- outstanding. And our food speaks for itself," said Imirian.

But at the end of the day, both business owners know quality always wins.

"We want, like, local stuff. Very good quality, very fast, .reasonably priced," said Heaney.

Related Topics:
societyfresnorestaurantsfoodFresno - Downtown
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