Cracker Barrel one step closer to Dyersburg

Friday, July 13, 2012
This conceptual drawing shows what the front of the Cracker Barrel restaurant will look like. The city planning commission approved site plans for the restaurant at its Thursday, July 12 meeting bringing the restaurant one step closer to becoming a reality in Dyersburg.

Cracker Barrel, the Old Country Store, whose mission statement is "Pleasing People" will hopefully be adding the city of Dyersburg to its long list of locations. Representatives from the restaurant's corporate offices presented their site plan for a restaurant located off Highway 78 and Radio Road at the city's regional planning commission meeting on Thursday morning, July 12.

"It is such a pleasure to be here," Kathy Bengochea, an associate with LD Reeves and Associates (Cracker Barrel's development company) told the board. "The city staff has been a pleasure to work with and accommodating in this process."

The Tennessee-based company with headquarters in Lebanon has 616 restaurants in 42 states and employs approximately 67,000 people. The first Cracker Barrel was founded in 1969 by Dan W. Evins and featured a gas station.

The company first contacted the city earlier this year and conducted a preliminary evaluation in March. After visiting and evaluating sites, the company settled on a lot at the corner of Highway 78 and Radio Road. City Planner Kim Morgan reported to the board that the site plans met all guidelines and she recommended that the board approve it. Justin Avent with the city's engineering department, commented that there were a few minor changes to be made to the site plans but that he also recommend approval pending those changes.

This photo taken from the westbound lane of I-155 shows the future location of Cracker Barrel at the former site of the WASL radio station on the corner of Radio Road and Highway 78. The Tennessee-based restaurant with corporate offices in Lebanon, employs 67,000 people in 616 restaurants across 42 states.

Commissioner Sherry Guthrie moved that the city approve the site plan pending the engineering changes with Commissioner Brian Ramm seconding the motion. All members present, which included Tony Dement, Mayor John Holden, John Pressler, Bart Williams, Guthrie and Ramm, unanimously approved the motion. Chairman Eddie Burks, Vice Chairman Paul Newbill and Vince Haymon were not present at the meeting. Holden presided over the meeting in Burks' absence.

"We are excited about the opportunity for Cracker Barrel to locate a restaurant in Dyersburg," Holden told the State Gazette after the meeting. "(This is the) first development on the other side of the interstate and we hope it will spur future development in that area. We are (also) excited about new employment opportunities and revenue growth as a result of a new business coming to town."

The State Gazette spoke with Jeanne Ludington, corporate communications manager for Cracker Barrel's public relations department after Thursday's meeting. She said while the restaurant is delighted that they are wanted in the area, the site plan approval is one step in a long process and the restaurant does not provide detailed information until "the shovel is in the ground".

In other business, City Codes Official Tom Mullins brought to the attention of the board that concession stands have been popping up throughout the city and there are no official ordinances to govern their operation. Mullins says that he is not referring to agriculture vendors, but rather to vendors that are selling concession items such as flavored ice water on major streets (Highway 51 and Highway 104).

"I am not saying that we should have them, I'm not saying we should not have them but if we are going to allow them, we should have rules and regulations in place to govern them," said Mullins.

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  • just another nice restaurant that the ppl of dyb can screw up.

    -- Posted by seniorcomment on Fri, Jul 13, 2012, at 9:08 AM
  • I'll believe it when I see it.

    -- Posted by MDGA on Fri, Jul 13, 2012, at 4:39 PM
  • Why do we need another food place. everybody in dyersburg is fat already. we needed that food prosessing plant. duh

    -- Posted by bennabones1 on Sat, Jul 14, 2012, at 11:16 AM
  • Great news. However, greater news would be that our Chamber Of Commerce and Mayor has secured some light manufacturing for our area. May continue to bless and designate west Tennessee as an opportunity base for our citizens to return to work in record numbers. We have lost so much.

    -- Posted by Mister-D on Sat, Jul 14, 2012, at 11:19 AM
  • Build it big, Cracker Barrels are always packed

    -- Posted by swampfox on Mon, Jul 16, 2012, at 1:29 AM
  • One more step to being just another bland town full of national chains. Is this Dyersburg or just a copy of every town across middle America?

    You people need pride and identity - not double fried breakfast steak and eggs.

    -- Posted by peanutvoss on Tue, Jul 17, 2012, at 11:51 AM
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