Another new eatery: Aspen Creek Grill latest restaurant to announce plans in Harlingen

HARLINGEN — Fast-casual dining chain Aspen Creek Grill can’t resist the lure of Bass Pro Shops, and will open a restaurant nearby early next year.

The latest major restaurant to locate in the city will be built adjacent to the planned Hooters franchise, both of which will be in the looming shadow of Bass Pro at West Harrison Avenue and Dixieland Road.

Privately held Aspen Creek is a spinoff restaurant chain once owned and operated by Texas Roadhouse. The company has seven restaurants — the newest just opened in San Antonio last week — and Harlingen will be No. 9 following completion of a restaurant in Tyler.

Once up and running, the Harlingen restaurant is expected to employ 130 staffers, Randy Crawford, a managing partner with Aspen Creek Grill, said yesterday.

“I’ve been trying to get down there for a long time,” Crawford said. “Way back in the day, I helped open Carino’s in Brownsville.”

Aspen Creek will have a full bar, and a menu centered on pizza, salads, chicken, pasta and seafood.

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