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Chain Links: Comtemporary Border Cantinas

Mos-eisley First Red Lobster started going all Bar Harbor, now Chevy’s is getting a makeover. Lowell Petrie, CMO, said “Chevys is a border cantina with loud signs and lights and neon. We don’t want to lose that energy and fun, but we want to make it more contemporary.” I’m trying to imagine contemporary border cantina and can only picture copious granite and adobe. They do have tasteful design in Mexico, you know. [NRN]

I was hoping to see Napa Valley Grille in its natural element instead of inside of a Paramus mall on my fall Yountville excursion, but it was no longer in operation. The original spot, though, is being turned into an R + D Kitchen, a Hillstone (formerly Houston’s) brand, so at least it will be keeping with the spirit of things. [Eater]

Smashburger and Fatburger always blur together in my mind as chains we don’t have in NYC and that I don’t think about, but if three Smashburgers are coming to Brooklyn I could get interested. [Metromix]

I watched this CNBC documentary Behind the Counter: The Untold Story of Franchising right before the holidays and had no idea it was controversial. Chains have images to uphold, of course, and now CNBC has pulled the program after  Cold Stone Creamery sent a threatening letter. [Blue Mau Mau]

I don’t see a branch of North Korean Okryu-Gwa opening up in the US any time soon. Dubai gets everything. [NPR]

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