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Marie Callender's replacement proposed

Medford officials have received plans for an unnamed restaurant that would replace the Marie Callender’s that burned down almost two years ago.

The preliminary drawings and specifications show a building that is similar to the former Marie Callender’s restaurant, but no mention of the Marie Callender’s name appears anywhere in the documents for the site at 1528 Biddle Road.

Instead, the only name in the pre-application documents is “Wong Medford Restaurant,” referring to Joe Wong of Redding, Calif., who owns 42 restaurants, including franchises for Marie Callender’s, Applebee’s, Logan’s Roadhouse and Burger King.

Wong is the chief executive officer for J & A Food Service at 930 Executive Way, Redding.

Pam Schalo, executive marketing director for J & A Food Service, said the specific restaurant and other information haven’t been finalized at this point.

“A lot of things are up in the air, but there’s no details to share,” Schalo said.

More information about the restaurant likely will be released in the near future, she said.

Wong’s proposal is to build a similarly sized restaurant as the Marie Callender’s with a footprint of 6,400 square feet on the one-acre lot. The parking lot would remain the same.

Les Melburg with NMR Architects in Redding prepared the drawings for the new building, which has more of a lodge style than its predecessor.

The only reference to a name for the restaurant on the drawings is the word "Eat."

The Medford Marie Callender’s burned on Dec. 14, 2013, with the fire attributed to an electrical short. The fire caused about $2 million in damage to the building and contents and the gutted building was later torn down.

Fire officials said the building was constructed in 1984 and was not protected with an automatic sprinkler system. Marie Callender's opened in 1993 in the building that had previously housed the Wild Plum restaurant.

If the city approves the new building, it would be required to have an automatic sprinkler system and other fire suppression equipment, according to a letter submitted from Medford Fire-Rescue.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @reporterdm.

Only the blackened shell of a building remained after a fire that destroyed Marie Callender's restaurant on Biddle Road. Mail Tribune / file photo
This drawing shows a proposed Medford restaurant that would sit on the site of the former Marie Callender's, which burned in December 2013. Drawing by Les Melburg with NMR Architects