Benihana and Chick-Fil-A will be coming to San Mateo's Bridgepointe Shopping Center. (Image courtesy CBRE)
By Kate Bradshaw
San Mateo's Bridgepointe Shopping Center is adding Benihana and Chick-fil-A to its dining offerings, according to a recent statement from the commercial real estate firm CBRE.
“Bridgepointe Shopping Center is one of the premier power centers in the Bay Area. Its proximity to major highways and large daytime population attracted high-quality, well-known tenants – making it the largest open-air center for 15 miles in each direction,” says Matt Kircher, Executive Vice President at CBRE, in the statement.
Benihana, a restaurant chain in which chefs grill and prepare food for diners at Japanese teppanyaki tables, is set to take over the former Red Robin restaurant at the shopping center. There are two other Peninsula Benihana locations in Cupertino and Burlingame. It is expected to open in spring 2024, according to SFGATE.
This will be San Mateo’s first Chick-fil-A, joining Peninsula outposts in Daly City and Redwood City. The chicken sandwich restaurant chain caused a stir – and drew long lines – when it opened in Redwood City in 2020. At the time, San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa publicly opposed the chain, writing in a letter to its CEO that "your company's anti-LGBTQ policies do not represent the values of the overwhelming majority of San Mateo County residents." The chain has been criticized for making donations to charities that oppose same-sex marriage, which it announced it would no longer do.
The shopping center is also bringing in a number of new non-food retailers, including Nordstrom Rack and The Container Store, according to CBRE.
Over the decades, retailers have faced a series of challenges and successes there. The shopping center first opened in 1982 as San Mateo Fashion Island, erected on what the San Francisco Examiner called an "oozing mud site." As the years went by, businesses came and went, and ownership also changed.
In 1996 the indoor mall was demolished except for the ice skating rink, which has survived a lengthy closure and threats of redevelopment. After the mall was rebuilt as an outdoor mall, it was renamed Bridgepointe Shopping Center.
Bridgepointe Shopping Center, 3000 Bridgepointe Parkway, San Mateo.