Drum roll please ... it is official, the Cracker Barrel has purchased an outparcel of property in Statesboro Crossing. With construction scheduled to begin in two weeks, the Statesboro Cracker Barrel should open its doors in the latter part of March or the beginning of next April.
"Usually construction takes right around 20 weeks," said Julie Davis, senior director of corporate communications for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. "Obviously, the weather plays an important part, but hopefully things will go as planned, and we can open within that timeframe."
Davis said the Statesboro Cracker Barrel will be around 10,000 square feet, and contain the gift shop that has become such an important part of the restaurant's appeal. "The restaurant will also have the wrap around porch with the rocking chairs," she said.
I asked Davis about building in Statesboro versus an interstate location in this area. "Several years ago we began to construct some ‘off' interstate locations," she said. "Even though they aren't on an interstate, they have the same look and feel as a major highway."
As exciting as it may be to have a new restaurant coming to Statesboro, I am equally, if not more excited about the jobs that will come with it. According to Davis, a total of 150 jobs will be created (both part-time and full-time).
"As the restaurant gets close to completion, we will put signs outside advertising that we are hiring," she said. "People that are interested will need to keep an eye out for those signs."
I asked Davis how Cracker Barrel's expansion plans have been affected by the economic slowdown of the last three years.
"We have pulled back a little bit," she said. "Our fiscal year runs August through July, so we are in fiscal 2011. We plan to build an additional 11 restaurants this year, and Statesboro is one of them. We are really excited about this location, and look forward to being a part of your community."
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBRL) was established in 1969 in Lebanon, Tenn., and operates 595 company-owned locations in 41 states. Every Cracker Barrel unit is open seven days a week with hours Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. - 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. - 11 p.m. For more information, visit: crackerbarrel.com.