MCCALL - A local family-owned breakfast joint hoping to expand in Valley County has hit a roadblock. A city ordinance would have to change in order for The Griddle to open its doors in McCall.
It all revolves around the city's formula restaurant code. It limits the number of eateries that are franchises or chains.
But after a recent request, it looks like the rule could be changing.
Griddle co-owner Ashley Ferguson says, "I think it would be great for us but I think it would be great for McCall also."
Ferguson says most of the recipes have been in the family for decades.
"We built our brand, this is a family-owned business, it's my husband's legacy, his family bought it in 1960," said Ferguson.
She says since then The Griddle has opened restaurants in Meridian, Eagle and Boise.
"There's a lot of things we do that you are not going to find other places and that's what makes us unique," said Ferguson.
She says that's why she was shocked when the city of McCall classified the restaurant as a chain, and said because of a city code they wouldn't be allowed to open a location there.
"I understand the idea behind the ordinance, they don't want big national chains, but I don't consider The Griddle to be that, we are an independent and truly a mom and pop," said Ferguson.
The city says the formula restaurant code labels any business with more than one location as a franchise, and limits those to 10 percent of all restaurants in McCall.
Currently, there's no room for any more chains.
But, Alpine Village has been working for several years to bring in The Griddle. Director of Owner Services at Alpine Village, Kristin Amarante, says they requested that the code be changed so that chains are labeled as businesses with more than five other identical locations.
"We feel that the formula business ordinance was not put in place to keep out restaurants like The Griddle, it's not a franchise, it's a family-owned business," said Amarante.
The city's planning and zoning commission has approved the new ordinance. Now, Ferguson says it must also pass through city council and the county commission.
"From what I've heard from other businesses in town, people are feeling good about it, so hopefully it goes through," said Amarante.
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