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Jan Moore: Chilis, Mellow Mushroom finalize Boro plans
Jan Moore Mug Web
Jan Moore

            There are two favorite topics in this town - restaurants and grocery stores. Oh, how we collectively yearn for more options in both areas, and not to ourselves, but to anyone that will listen.

            In one of those areas, there is cause for celebration. Today, I can officially announce that a Chili's restaurant is going to be built here. Land for the restaurant was purchased last Monday and construction is slated to begin as early as today.

            Athens based Bonnaroo Restaurant Group is the franchisee of the Statesboro Chili's which is going to be built near the intersection of the Statesboro Bypass and Brannen Street in the commercial real estate development anchored by Franklin Toyota.

            Bonnaroo 's president Greg Cyrier said his ownership group is very excited about their Statesboro location.

            "We now operate 11 Chili's restaurants and have restaurants under construction in Albany, Myrtle Beach, and North Charleston," he said.

            Cyrier said when he visited Statesboro for the first time, he knew immediately that it would be a perfect place for a Chili's.

            "My visit confirmed what I believed which is that Statesboro is the right size with a young feeling about it," he said. "It is a college town and a fun town. The people in Statesboro really enjoy going out."

            Cyrier also said something that might surprise many of you.

            "Statesboro was on the top of the development list of Chili's parent company, Brinker International," he said. "It was of great interest to them to have a franchise in Statesboro because so many people had contacted them requesting one be put there."

            That's right. Statesboro "jumped" up the list because people had emailed the parent company asking for a restaurant here. In addition, Cyrier said many Atlanta patrons had filled out request cards in the Atlanta area Chili's asking for a Statesboro location.

            Get ready local pizza fans, Hilton Johnson, Jr. confirmed that he is going to build a Mellow Mushroom restaurant on the out parcel section of Woodland Square.

            "We really look forward to being back in Statesboro with the Mellow Mushroom once again," Johnson said in an e-mail. "We were the owners for about ten years and sold it to a couple whom corporate took it from them for not following guidelines. My wife repurchased the franchise and here we are again. We look forward in serving the people of Statesboro with great pizza and service."   

            I don't have any information on the construction timeline for the Mellow Mushroom, but Cyrier hopes the Statesboro Chili's will be finished in late October.

            Until next week, I bid you au revoir.

            Got a scoop for Jan? Call her at (912) 489-9463 or e-mail her at jmoore@statesboroherald.net