Social media has made pushing false narratives even more easy and crazy.
However, every time someone speculates with certainty on Facebook about a new business it creates excitement and often false hope. Realtors and developers will tell you about the long and tireless hours they spend showing properties to prospective businesses before a deal is actually completed.
It is no surprise that Statesboro is on the upswing economically and because of this many exciting chains and major brands are looking at locating here. The process often takes years. As we continue to discover with our failure to land a major grocery store that even when we thought things were a sure thing, at the last minute something changes and they pull out of the deal.
Three properties that seem to draw the most speculation and false hope are the old KFC on North Main, the old McDonalds on the Blue Mile and Kmart.
This week I have had to quell "exciting" rumors that were based on half-truth's that spread like wildfire on all three of these locations.
To set the record straight, no one has purchased or leased any of these buildings. Checkers continues to look for locations to relocate. The old McDonald's was one of many locations they considered. The owner of that property has begun some demolition to make it more attractive to potential clients. Checkers, however, has eliminated it from their prospective list. They are focused on several locations, all very near where they operated for decades.
As for the old KFC, a national brand has looked at that location as have several local businesses who are looking to expand. None of these deals has materialized.
Kmart is in a long term lease and the Statesboro store is one of the more successful Kmart stores in the chain. They have no plans of closing this store. Sears, which is the parent company of Kmart, continues to restructure their operations and have closed a large number of stores over the past year. The Statesboro location has not appeared on any of the projected closure lists.
I think that covers all the items that made the "fake news on social media" rounds this past week. If you hear a rumor and are convinced it is true, take a second to reach out to me or the business owner before you create a post on social media. It may create unnecessary publicity and problems for local business owners.
On to some exciting new developments in town:
Harbor Freight Tools
Harbor Freight Tools, a privately held discount tool and equipment retailer headquartered in Calabasas, California, has selected 23924 Highway 80 East (across from the former Applebees) to build a store in Statesboro. They plan to break ground in October and open early 2018. www.harborfreight.com
A Colonial Oil Industries official confirmed they have reached an agreement to purchase Clyde's Market. Clyde's Market is headquartered in Glennville and operates 41 stores in Southeast Georgia. There are seven Clyde's Markets in Bulloch County. Two in Brooklet, one in Portal, one in the county and three in Statesboro. Colonial Oil Industries is the parent company of Enmarket. Full details regarding acquisition and the fate of the 41 stores will be announced soon.
Charlie's Funky Junk Shop
Two new businesses are opening on West Main Street. Well-known local artist's Greg and Trish Carter, along with their talented daughter Olivia, have opened Charlie's Funky Junk Shop at 33 West Main across from Gee-Da's Table.
The shop is named after Trish's father Charlie who operated a highly successful junk shop in upstate New York for years. The shop is full of unique finds which include used wonders, a fashion boutique, lots of fabulous junk, and beloved collectibles. They also have one of a kind designs by Trish and Olivia. Find them on Facebook @charliesfunkyjunk.
Honey Catering is opening a Statesboro location at 20 West Main Street beside L.A. Waters furniture. They will offer cheesecake whole or by the slice. Fresh, ready to cook casseroles, frozen casseroles, chicken salad, pimento cheese, black eye pea salsa, pasta salad and seasonal specialties.
They also will offer specialty food products like local honey, Wisham's Pepper Jelly, cheese straws, and other small batch food products. They will have ample parking and an entrance to the store from the parking lot behind the store. Find them on Facebook @honeycateringgq or call them at (912) 259-9200
After nearly being closed for eight months, Shogun Japanese Restaurant located at 609 Brannen Street has reopened. Shogun's was heavily damaged by fire in December 2016. They have completely renovated the restaurant and the community has excitedly welcomed them back. Their menu remains the same and includes the popular Hibachi grill and sushi bar. It is beautiful and the food is better than ever.
McAlister's Deli, located at 1100 Brampton Avenue, continues to set records for the company. The store opened in 2006 and was sold in 2011 to DMAC, LLC. Statesboro was the tenth store purchased by DMAC. They now operate 39 stores and are opening one in Hinesville and a second store in Augusta this year.
Ray Christian has been with McAlister's Statesboro since the store opened. Most of his time working at the store has been as the general manager. Last December Ray oversaw a complete store remodel.
Christian and his team in Statesboro were recognized recently for the highest sales in Georgia and the highest sales out of the total 39 stores DMAC operates. Ray attributes his continued success to the amazing, smart and enthusiastic staff that he leads in Statesboro.
"My staff is focused on providing exceptional customer service with every sale," Christian said. "This combined with lots of loyal customers who support us daily, is what really sets the Statesboro McAlister's Deli apart from all the others."
Michael Classens, local attorney and former partner with Edenfield, Cox, Bruce and Classen's, firm has announced that he has left the firm to open a solo practice. Classens began his career in Statesboro with Allen, Brown, Edenfield in 1984 and has spent the past 21 years as a partner with E.C.B.C. Michael J. Classens, Attorney at Law is now located at 7 Allen-Cale Drive.
The former Flight Factory Indoor Trampoline and Paintball facility has new ownership and has been rebranded to JumpShot. The new owners, Austin and Fantasia McGuffie, already have made lots of improvements to the facility and its' operations. JumpShot is located at 158 E. Parrish Street. Visit their website at www.jumpshotstatesboro.com to learn more about this fun, family friendly attraction.