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Another chain restaurant coming to Lincoln

Another chain restaurant coming to Lincoln


It seems as if Lincoln is the target of a never-ending stream of restaurant chains.

The latest is Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, which is planning its first Lincoln location next to the CVS at 48th and Van Dorn streets.

There has been no official announcement, but the group that owns the Freddy's in Wichita, Kansas, bought the land in January and currently is advertising for a general manager and other managers for the store.

Freddy's will join a long list of national and regional restaurant chains planning their first Lincoln locations. That list includes Chick-fil-A, Krispy Kreme, Chevys Fresh Mex, Jimmy's Egg and Capriotti's.

Thinking about that made me remember that I did a story nearly 10 years ago about how Lincoln was undergoing a similar restaurant boom.

Among the chains coming to the city for the first time then were Bennigan's, Noodles & Co. and Taco Del Mar.

I thought it would be interesting to compare the data on restaurants to see how much we have grown.

According to 2003 census data (which was the most recent available in 2005 when I wrote the first story), there were 151 full-service restaurants and 218 limited-service restaurants.

Five years later, in 2008, those numbers had grown to 173 and 257.

In 2013, the most recent numbers available, there were 198 full-service restaurants and 277 limited-service restaurants.

So, over a 10-year period, Lincoln added 47 full-service restaurants and 59 limited-service ones, for a total of 116, or about 11 or 12 a year.

That's one new restaurant a month for a decade, which seems like a pretty solid growth.

Soaring traffic

Last week we had a story about how Lincoln's flight to Chicago is one of the 10-most disrupted flights in the country. Having flown through Chicago a few times, I'm not surprised.

What might surprise you is how well the Lincoln Airport is doing this year.

Through the end of May, passenger traffic is up 13 percent compared with last year.

That's mostly because of the 44 percent year-to-date passenger boost for Delta Airlines, thanks to an Atlanta flight that started in September.

But even United, with the much-maligned Chicago flight, is doing well.

United's numbers had been down all year, but they jumped 12 percent in May and now are up 2 percent over 2014.

If the current rate of increase continues, the airport will have more than 300,000 passengers this year, something that hasn't happened since 2008.

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Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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