Cracker Bar­rel not likely in Cov­ing­ton

The Covington News - - Business - Gabriel Khouli gkhouli@cov­

It’s un­likely that Cracker Bar­rel is com­ing to Cov­ing­ton af­ter all.

The restau­rant chain had re­port­edly reached an agree­ment last fall with Ewing South­east Realty to lo­cate on Ga. High­way 142 at Lochridge Boule­vard near Hamp­ton Inn, but Cracker Bar­rel now says that it’s un­sure whether it can sup­port a store so close to its ex­ist­ing lo­ca­tions in Cony­ers, Madi­son and McDonough, ac­cord­ing to Morris Ewing Jr., with Ewing South­east.

Last fall Ewing said Cracker Bar­rel saw Exit 93 on In­ter­state 20 as an area poised for com­mer­cial growth that was highly vis­i­ble and about mid­way be­tween ex­ist­ing lo­ca­tions in Cony­ers and Madi­son.

Cracker Bar­rel spokes­woman Jeanne Lud­ing­ton said Thurs­day that she had no spe­cific in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the Cov­ing­ton lo­ca­tion, but noted that real es­tate de­vel­op­ments are long, com­pli­cated pro­cesses.

Ewing said Wed­nes­day that he met with a Mel­low Mush­room rep­re­sen­ta­tive two weeks ago and is still pur­su­ing the com­pany for a lo­ca­tion on Ga. 142.

Though Cracker Bar­rel bowed out, de­vel­op­ment con­tin­ues along the cor­ri­dor. McDon­ald’s and Taco Bell are ex­pected to be­gin con­struc­tion on new stores there.

Taco Bell is set for the lot be­tween Wendy’s and Wells Fargo on Ga. 142, in front of the Aldi, Cov­ing­ton Se­nior Plan­ner Scott Gaither said. Al­pharetta-based CBI Gen­eral Con­trac­tors is ex­pected to start work­ing on the site Mon­day. A CBI rep­re­sen­ta­tive said no open­ing date has been an­nounced.

The store will be a stand-alone Taco Bell, not a com­bined Taco Bell-Pizza Hut like the lo­ca­tion on U.S. High­way 278.

McDon­ald’s is ex­pected to break ground any day at its 1-acre par­cel at the in­ter­sec­tion of In­dus­trial Boule­vard and Ga. High­way 142 next to the closed gas sta­tion, Gaither said pre­vi­ously.

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