A Pizza Hut restaurant under construction near the Capital Mall will open by the end of the year.
Nakoma Sherry, Pizza Hut area coach, supervises Jefferson City Pizza Hut restaurants. Sherry said the company hopes to open the restaurant by Dec. 16, but finishing touches are being made to the restaurant's interior and it may delay the opening slightly.
"Tentatively, it should be open around (Dec. 16) or the week after," Sherry said. "Christmas, it will be open. There's just so many variables right now."
The exterior of the restaurant is complete at this point. A handful of minor things remain. Some equipment still needs to be installed, and the building's interior ceiling still needs to be finished, Sherry said.
The pizza chain's current Capital Mall location sits on the south side of the mall's parking lot at 3530 Country Club Drive near Fuji Japanese Steakhouse and Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts. The new location at 3731 W. Truman Blvd. sits on a previously vacant part of the mall's parking lot near Sears' former location and JCPenney.
Pizza Hut has other locations in Jefferson City at 1431 Christy Drive and inside Target at 735 W. Stadium Blvd.
Sherry said the lease on Pizza Hut's Country Club Drive building expires at the end of the year, so the chain needs to move into the new space by then.
The new restaurant will be built in the style of a Pizza Hut concept created in 2016. In a blog post on Pizza Hut's website in July 2016, the company said it wanted to create a restaurant that felt social, but also fit the fast-paced lifestyle of today's modern consumers. With an open kitchen, the new concept emphasizes open spaces, but also blends in past elements of the Pizza Hut brand.
"The assets may be changing, but it is Pizza Hut's restaurant heritage that will be the connecting thread," the blog post said. "We're just finding new, updated ways to remain one of America's favorite restaurants."