By: Ike Fredregill
Originally published in the Laramie Boomerang November 8, 2017
After years of speculation about a new restaurant opening in the UW Plaza, construction on a Rib & Chop House is underway. Laramie Planning Division Associate Planner Eric Conner said McMurryGroup-owned site developer University Plaza LLC applied for a site plan to build a Rib & Chop House at 2433 Grand Ave.
The site plan was approved Sept. 6, Conner said. “It’s a Type 3 site plan, because they are starting from scratch,” he said. “Basically, all new development becomes a Type 3 site plan.”
Laramie Planning Division Principal Planner Charles Bloom said building permits for the restaurant were approved Sept. 15 and River Valley Builders, of Casper, was currently erecting the building.
The McMurry Group did not return requests for comment.
The Finally Restaurant Group, which owns and operates Rib & Chop House, did not return requests for comment.
The Rib & Chop House was founded in 2001 by Burke and Melissa Moran, and since, about 10 locations have opened in Montana, Wyoming and Utah, according to the Rib & Chop House website.
Conner said the new building was classified as a restaurant without a drive through and could host a variety of indoor and outdoor seating. According to the site plan, the finished building could be just under 6,500-square feet.
The UW Plaza project was intended as an amenity for fans on game days, as well as throughout the year for the whole community.
The project was delayed after Mick McMurry’s death, who was remembered as a successful Wyoming businessman and philanthropist. Development began again in earnest late in 2016, and a long-awaited movie theater, owned by Studio City, opened in April.