CHANDLER, Ariz. Casual-dining chain Mimi’s Cafe has added a fast-casual component and a full-service bar to an existing unit here.
The new Mimi’s Quick Cafe section is open for breakfast and lunch and sells espresso, breakfast items, soup, salad and sandwiches for takeout or to be eaten in the new area, which is located at the front of the restaurant.
The new bar, open all day, sells smoothies, beer, wine and cocktails, ranging in price from $6 to $12. Mimi’s offers full bar service 80 of its 146 units. The rest sell beer and wine, according to Mimi Somerman, Mimi’s senior vice president for marketing.
Tim Pulido, Mimi’s president and chief concept officer, said if the first 90 days of the fast-casual cafe’s operations are successful, the company will expand the concept to other locations.
Mimi’s Quick Cafe comes months after its family-dining sister concept, Bob Evans, opened an experimental retail space in the former lobby and waiting area of a restaurant in Westerville, Ohio. The 600-square-foot Taste of the Farm offers bakery offerings grab-and-go items, self-serve coffee, pantry items and food suitable for gifts.
Other full-service chains have experimented with fast-casual or express concepts, including Denny's and Friendly's.