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Are we getting another Marie Callender's?

Have you any information about the new construction work being conducted at the old Marie Callender's restaurant location? I'm hoping it is a new Marie Callender's. The fire left a hole in Medford, not covered by other restaurants.

— EDY, north Medford

The lack of a Marie Callender's on Biddle Road has left a big hole in many people's tummies, EDY.

As much as we love to give Since You Asked readers good news, we can only tell you the former site where the restaurant was located is not destined for another Marie Callender's.

Instead, People's Bank bought the 1-acre property at the corner of Progress Drive and Biddle Road for about $1 million last summer.

The bank is in the process of building a three-story, 20,000-square-foot building that will house lending, bank operations and administration. The $6 million project is expected to finish in the first quarter of 2018.

The Medford Marie Callender’s was destroyed on Dec. 14, 2013, after a fire started because of 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.

Ken Troutman, president of People's Bank, did offer some solace for diehard fans of Marie Callender's.

"We'll probably serve Marie Callender's pies when we open in April of next year," he said.

— Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.