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A Black Friday without bedlam
Big Lots.jpg
Sherri Lyle and Kaylee Grace Lyle do some Black Friday shopping at Big Lots. The store was saturated with Christmas items, including trees and popcorn tins.

Some things are just going to happen.

That turkey sandwich with a little mayo the day after Thanksgiving is a universal sign of happiness.

Hitting the stores for a little shopping is going to happen too, no matter how much things move online or how bad the virus circulates.

It was a steady Black Friday around McMinnville. It wasn’t get-somebody-in-a-headlock crazy, but business was brisk.

Asked the atmosphere surrounding the store opening of Big Lots on Friday morning, 22-year employee Jo Mabe said, “There was nobody waiting outside the door.”

What happened to the people in sleeping bags? What happened to prices so low you’d dropkick an old lady?

“We didn’t have any huge sales,” said Mabe. “An air fryer for 50% off was the best thing.”

Business was moving and shaking at Lowe’s where Cody Holman was busy carrying live Christmas trees out the door. Baby spruces were for sale with red Christmas bows on what was a warm November morning.

Even with constant business at the garden center, things were even busier inside the store. Customers were greeted by a giant inflatable Santa on their way in.

Game Xchange at Northgate Center had superhero figures for 50% off as a big sale item. When it comes to electronics, the item on ever gamers wish list is the latest version of the Xbox or Playstation machines.

“We’ll be lucky if we see even one of those come in,” said Game Xchange manager Dakota Myers. “We do have Nintendo switches and they have been popular. It’s been busier than I expected but it’s not been as busy as last year.”

Grandy’s sets

Opening day

It’s been said nothing is written in stone. So many things are subject to change.

With that in mind, Grandy’s has set Monday, Dec. 7 as the target date for opening its restaurant at the old Bojangles building. Jamey Tidwell is the area director who will serve as the restaurant manager for the first six to eight weeks.

Tidwell said Grandy’s has gained quick fame over the past five years thanks to its delicious recipes. I like to call Grandy’s a fast food version of Cracker Barrel because it’s home cooking with things like chicken ‘n dumplins, mashed potatoes, meatloaf, fried okra, macaroni and cheese and more.

“It’s a meat and three,” said Jamey. “Grandy’s is a tried and true brand. It had over 300 restaurants at its height.”

Jamey told me the Grandy’s story about how the restaurant chain, first opened in 1972, rose to prominence, but it failed to update its menu, service style, and even its logo. That caused the Grandy’s brand to belly flop.

Captain D’s bought the Grandy’s chain out of bankruptcy several years back. Trident Holdings is a large owner of Captain D’s restaurants with 42 total stores. Trident Holdings is the company which will be operating our Grandy’s.

Jamey said the Grandy’s which opened earlier this year in Mufreesboro was the first Grandy’s for Trident Holdings. The store in McMinnville will be No. 2. The plan is to open 10 over the next five years.

Jamey said he’s hired 35 employees thus far for the McMinnville store and the plan is to hire about 10 more. There has been some remodeling, like a new wooden floor instead of carpet, but the restaurant is much the same as it was when Bojangles was thriving, or should I say operating.

Our Bonjangles first opened in November of 2015. It closed in August of 2018, failing to make it three years. The building has been vacant since 2018, more than two years.

Jamey says there’s already been great buzz about Grandy’s in McMinnville. People have popped in to ask about the opening date.

“We hope to pick up some momentum with our catering too,” said Jamey. “Our product translates very well so that we can bring you pans of something.”

Grandy’s serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hours will be 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Get ready to eat!

Depot Bottom

Has a buyer

When the conversation turns to real estate, all I hear is how fast properties are selling. That was indeed the case with Depot Bottom Country Store.

In less than three weeks of being on the market, the restaurant has found a buyer.

“I can tell you an offer has been made and an offer has been accepted,” said realtor Donald Hillis when asked about the sale he brokered.

When I called owner Travis Young to ask about the sale, he confirmed he hopes to close the deal this week. He described the new owner as a local resident with a culinary background. This sounds like exciting news and I hope to bring you more details when they become available.

Let there

Be sewer

It’s often overlooked the amount of work required to turn an empty field into an operational industrial site. There’s grading to do, water to provide, and electric lines to run. And let’s not forget sewer.

In an effort to get sewer in place for newly finished Spec Building 4 and three other industrial sites at Mt. View Industrial Park, officials are going to apply for an ARC grant, which stands for Appalachian Regional Commission.

It was estimated the sewer project would cost $460,000 if it could be done this year. But because it might be a year down the road, it was suggested the exact same project could rise to $600,000 when it’s actually done.

Members of the Industrial Development Board voted to pursue the ARC grant because that will probably be the fastest way to get the project complete. 

It was suggested Fast Track money could possibly be used on the sewer project, but IDB director Don Alexander pointed out Fast Track money is not awarded until there’s a specific tenant. The ARC grant would allow the process to get started before a buyer has been identified for the property.



Remember when Santa used to skydive into Three Star Mall on Black Friday? It was the grandest of all entrances for Santa.

Thousands of people would wait in the parking lot to watch Santa descend. And those were back in the days when it was cold.

I miss skydiving Santa, a truly unique part of McMinnville history.

Other odds

And ends

Among tidbits that were discussed at the most recent Industrial Development Board meeting, it was said Main Street McMinnville has currently opened the application process for a new Main Street McMinnville director.

Teresa Prober, the last Main Street director, failed to make it a year on the job. This comes despite magnificent progress taking place all around our downtown area. When it comes to our Main Street and immediate area, every day is a pecan pie. Things are peachy downtown.

This is hardly headline news, but also discussed was the IDB moving from the second floor of the Chamber of Commerce building to the first floor. This would allow the IDB office to be handicap-accessible and also allow for sharing a secretary-type person to greet customers.

The IDB has considered other office locations around town, but members think it would be best to stay at the Chamber due to the similar mission shared by the two organizations.

“I’d like to stay in this building if we could,” said Don.

Added IDB member Jenny Nafrada, “I think we should give it our best shot to stay.”

That’s all folks

Thanksgiving is behind us and Christmas awaits. May you keep Business Pulse close to your heart this holiday season. 

Send me an email with all your business news at

Also, now is a great time to be thinking about what to get the Standard business writer for Christmas.