New owners of the popular Westside Mexican restaurant Amanda’s Fonda have backed out of a plan to open a downtown location but still have plans to open a number of restaurants along the Front Range, including one at the former Village Inn restaurant at 8050 N. Academy Blvd.

Businessman Rick Holland, who owns the restaurant franchise umbrella, Wendy’s of Colorado Springs, purchased Amanda’s Fonda earlier this year with the intention of expanding it, said company CFO Tom Reinhard.

Holland oversees the operation of 74 Wendy’s restaurants as well as several other restaurant chains and several casino properties.

Holland was under contract to purchase the building where the outgoing Bryan & Scott Jewelers, 112 N. Tejon St., is located, but recently backed out of the deal.

The first new Amanda’s location will be at the former Village Inn at 8050 N. Academy Blvd. Holland bought the building two years ago when it acquired the neighboring Wendy’s, Reinhard said.

“We’re hoping we can get it open late in the first quarter of 2012 or early in the second quarter,” Reinhard said.

- Advertisement -

He said the building will go through extensive remodels.

“It won’t look anything like a Village Inn when we’re finished with it,” he said.

Holland hasn’t submitted plans yet, but is working with architects and drafting plans for a building that will have that authentic Amanda’s feel and an outside dining area, Reinhard said.

He’s also looking to replace an existing restaurant in one of the company’s Nevada casinos with an Amanda’s Fonda and try it out in different markets, Reinhard said.

“It’s possible that one will open before the one on North Academy because we won’t have to do the extensive remodel,” he said.

Holland is also negotiating for property at other locations up and down the Front Range, Reinhard said, though he wasn’t willing to disclose any of those locations.