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YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Chili’s, a popular chain restaurant in the United States, will open its first U.S. Navy installation location at Yokosuka Naval Base this fall.

Plans are to renovate the Seaside Club into the restaurant famous for baby back ribs and casual dining.

“We’re planning to open a Chili’s in the fall of 2006, but we haven’t established an exact date yet,” Yokosuka base spokesman Bill Doughty stated in an e-mailed response to a query from Stars and Stripes. “The date will depend on renovation and preparation work for the restaurant.”

Yokosuka’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation division contracted with a private company that will operate the restaurant and pay MWR a commission based on a percentage of sales, he said.

It will be much like Chili’s restaurants stateside except for one addition: breakfast. This is an “important” offering that several international Chili’s locations provide, Doughty said.

Chili’s was chosen because of its popularity in the U.S. and the chain’s “significant” presence and experience in Asia, Doughty said. The restaurant’s Web site lists one location in South Korea, one in Indonesia, four in Malaysia, three in the Philippines and three in Taiwan.

The menu — featuring salads, steaks, chicken wings, ribs, and other entrees — also was a factor, he said.

The restaurant “has a broad enough menu to appeal to a wide variety of tastes,” Doughty said.

Chili’s parent company, the Dallas-based Brinker International, owns five other restaurant chains and has a total of 1,588 restaurants in the U.S. and in 23 other countries.

The only current location in Japan is at Kadena Air Base on Okinawa. Site work began more than a year ago for a Yokota Air Base Chili’s expected to open later this year.


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