When Frank Parker and his partner built the Woodland Square shopping center on Highway 301 South in 2006, I had more than one person express concern that it was "too far" out of town.
Could anyone have imagined that seven years later, three massive apartment complexes would be surrounding it, sidewalks would be constructed, and that the area would be crawling with Georgia Southern students.
I talked with Parker's wife Marcia Parker about Woodland Square and how it is doing. She said that businesses were expanding within the development, and that a new restaurant would open in the former spot of Quiznos. The restaurant is Jersey Mike's Subs.
Owner Chris Brown has two Savannah locations, one in Bluffton, and one in Hilton Head that is under construction.
"I have been looking for three years for a location in Statesboro," Brown said. "Finally this one just clicked for me, and I think it is going to be excellent."
Brown said the restaurant will open on the May 15 with an interesting and worthwhile promotion.
"We always try to partner with a local charity or cause," he said. "So, we have chosen the Statesboro High School football team, because they are in need of new helmets. We will be handing out coupons in the community in the next few days. If you present the coupon, and donate $1 to the Statesboro High football team, you will get a free sub sandwich."
Brown said he was really interested in Statesboro, because it reminded him so much of his hometown, Greenville, N.C., home of East Carolina University.
"Statesboro looks and feels just like Greenville did 15 years ago," he said. "Greenville has really grown with the university and the medical community being the centerpieces of that growth. Statesboro is just like that. I am very happy to be a part of this business community, and people have made me feel very welcome."
Parker said one, if not two, more restaurant concepts may open in the next few months.
"We really only have about 700 square feet open at this time, and we have wonderful tenants," she said. "I think it is pretty exciting."
According to Brown, Jersey Mike's has more than 600 locations in 29 states.
So, until next Tuesday, I bid you au revoir.
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