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Custom Doughnut Shop & Burger Joint Coming to KOP Town Center

April 11, 2017

Source: Philadelphia Business Journal, Kenneth Hilario

Upper Merion residents and visitors can add customizable doughnuts and chargrilled burgers to the King of Prussia Town Center’s growing list of food-and-beverage operators.

The King of Prussia Town Center, developed by Maryland-based JBG Cos., has continued to add more eateries to its roster over the past few months since the first restaurant opened in summer 2016.

Most recently, JBG Cos. signed on three food-and-beverage tenants like California-based MidiCi The Neapolitan Pizza Company.

Two more tenants have signed on to open up Philadelphia-area outposts: Duck Donuts and The Habit Burger Grill.

Duck Donuts is slated to open in July, and Habit Burger is slated to open in October. The Town Center is now 86 percent leased with these additions.

Duck Donuts, which originated in the Outer Banks and is named after Duck, N.C., is known for its made-to-order doughnuts that include 11 coating choices, seven topping choices and four drizzle choices.

Duck Donuts will open three more Pennsylvania locations this year alongside the 1,500-square-foot Town Center outpost, including one in Hershey that’s slated to open in May.

The Town Center location is expected to create 25-40 new jobs in Montgomery County.

“King of Prussia is located only 1.5 hours from our corporate headquarters in Mechanicsburg and is home to many of our doughnut fans that vacation in the Shore points near our Avalon store,” said Russ DiGilio, founder and owner of Duck Donuts Franchising Company.

“It’s personally rewarding for me to not only deepen Duck Donuts’ roots in Pennsylvania, but to bring our award-winning warm, delicious and made-to-order doughnuts to my hometown community,” said DiGilio, who grew up in the Rosemont area of the Main Line.

The Habit Burger Grill, a California-based fast-casual restaurant, is known for its menu of chargrilled burgers, salads, sandwiches, shakes and fries.

The brand — founded in 1969 — has over 185 locations in the United States, but the King of Prussia Town Center will be the brand’s first Pennsylvania location.

The Habit Burger Grill at the King of Prussia Town Center is expected to generate about 35 new jobs.

The Town Center — which was put up for sale recently — is home to retailers like Nordstrom Rack, REI and Ulta, but it’s also home to restaurants that include Philadelphia’s honeygrow, and national players like Fogo de Chao and Naf Naf Grill.

Restaurateurs behind eateries that have already opened up in the Town Center said earlier that business had surpassed expectations in the new development.

The health-focused fast-casual restaurant concept b.good, for example, exceeded its foot traffic expectations by more than 20 percent as of mid-February since it opened last August, according to Deb Lutz, owner of four regional b.good locations.

The King of Prussia Town Center is one part of the Village at Valley Forge, a 130-acre master planned community overseen by Berwyn, Pennsylvania-based Realen Properties.

JBG strategically chose the type of restaurants opening at the Town Center. The restaurants would help create a downtown type of area for Upper Merion, similar to what Center City has become for Philadelphia.

“Our goal in developing King of Prussia Town Center was to bring new and unique retail and dining concepts to the region — ones that were original, or expanding from out-of-market to introduce new options to the Philadelphia’s regions expanding dining scene,” said Tom Sebastian, senior vice president of development at JBG.

The Village at Valley Forge, along with the King of Prussia Town Center, earlier this year were named the Philadelphia Business Journal’s Project of the Year.

The King of Prussia area, in general, has been improving its dining offerings.

The King of Prussia Mall’s Savor King of Prussia brought a slew of new restaurants like sweetgreen, Shake Shack Philadelphia’s Hai Street Kitchen & Co., and New Jersey’s The Taco Truck.

Pizzeria Vetri in October 2016 opened adjacent to Urban Outfitters in the area anchored by The Cheesecake Factory. The former Sears Auto Center was also replaced with Outback Steakhouse, which opened in February, and Yard House, which will open at the end of March.

New York’s Bluestone Lane coffee brand will also make its way to the King of Prussia Mall between Shake Shack and cosmetics retailer Clarins.

Located not too far from the mall is the Valley Forge Plaza Shopping Center, where New York-based Halal Guys opened a location and an outpost of Philadelphia-based Tiffin will also open.