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Business Pulse - Another Subway coming to town?
Old Krystal is gone.jpg
A demolition crew removes the old Krystal building at Plaza Shopping Center on Friday.

McMinnville is already beaming from the glow that the old Bojangles building is being transformed into a Grandy’s Restaurant. That announcement has generated widespread happiness and glee.

Grandy’s is wildly popular for its home cooking, fried chicken and meatloaf, and it’s made a name for itself in Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia and other states. Now Grandy’s is moving to Tennessee with a restaurant expected to open in Murfreesboro this month and in McMinnville in October.

The latest restaurant news is the old Krystal building at Plaza Shopping Center has been leveled. The building had been used for storage for decades, since 1998, when Krystal constructed a new restaurant at Plaza.

The question everyone wants to know is what will be locating at the spot of the old Krystal. Plaza Shopping Center manager Tommy Duggin revealed about a month ago it would be a national chain restaurant, but he has yet to announce the name.

Since I’ve been bombarded by questions, I’ve done some snooping and asked some questions. From what I’m hearing from sources close to the investigation, we are getting a Subway at the spot where the old Krystal was demolished.

Subway is a great chain and it should do well there, but I think this is news that will be somewhat of a letdown to many local residents. I heard a great many names batted around from folks about what they would like to see at that spot and, to my recollection, not one person mentioned Subway.

I’m not going to dismiss the possibility that Subway could have been talked about secretly behind my back with great enthusiasm. That could have happened. Maybe.

Of course all of this is unconfirmed rumor and wild speculation. It may just be a plan to divert our attention so Cook Out or Chick-fil-A can slip into town. But I think it’s going to be a Subway.

Turner’s parks

On Main Street

Charlie and Donna Turner have purchased the Main Street property next to Hardee’s and have moved Turner's Automotive to downtown McMinnville.

The hope is to kick their already successful car business into the next gear. They had been located on Old Smithville Highway not far from Walmart for nearly two years, but were unable to purchase that property.

“We really wanted to be at a place that we own,” said Charlie. “When I saw that this came open, I thought it would be way out of our price range, but it was really priced to sell so we were able to make a deal. It was time for us to own something.”

So what’s the best price range for used vehicles? Charlie says the emphasis is on providing reliable transportation in the $5,000 to $10,000 price range.

“If you are paying $2,000 for a car, you are just getting someone else’s problem,” said Charlie.

Added Donna, “If we stay in the $5,000 to $10,000 range, we can provide a good vehicle. We test drive every car we buy. Some people buy completely online and never even see the car in person before they buy it. We don’t do that.”

Donna said the supply of available cars has really started to tighten. The supply of trucks has been tight for some time.

“Good, pre-owned cars are hard to come by,” said Charlie, who indicated the car auctions they attend used to have some 600 cars available but that number was down to 140 during the last sale.

Turner's Automotive does not offer its own financing, but Donna points out they have great relationships with local lending institutions and nearly everyone can get credit provided they have $2,000 down and a job.

Donna said many customers come in thinking they can only afford a 2011 or 2012 model vehicle. However, she said loans for 2015 to 2017 vehicles can be extended for a longer amount of time, which makes the monthly payment the same, just for more months.

Turner's Automotive did a strong business at its former location and it’s too early to tell if sales will be as robust at the new location. The property certainly looks much better than their former spot and Charlie and Donna have made the office area very welcoming for customers. It’s a cozy place to sit and chat.

Donna says trade-ins are welcome. Surprisingly to me, Donna says the most popular cars requested are the Kia Optima and Chrysler 200. Any type of dependable pickup is typically a quick sell.

Charlie says 15 to 20 vehicles will be the perfect inventory for his lot size. Turner's Automotive can be reached at 507-AUTO, which is 507-2886.

Say hello to

grilled pizza

There are several items that are expected to be served off the grill. A burger is one. Chicken and steak are others.

Pizza isn’t necessarily a food that’s expected to be grilled and that’s where Chris Wetsel put his thinking cap to work. Chris has devised a charcoal grilled pizza that promises to make your mouth water with delight.

Thursday was opening day for Wetsel’s Grilled Pizzeria and early indications are that Chris is going to need to buy a bigger grill.

“I really just wanted to dip my toes in the water to see what would happen and so far it’s gone really well,” said Chris. “Thursday was our first official day for orders, although I had been trying recipes for months. Friday and Saturday we were pretty well booked up. We’ll deliver all across Warren County.”

Pizza is a food that’s unifying and delicious. Perhaps Congress would get along better if members would simply sit around and enjoy pizza together.

While restaurants across America serve pizza, Chris says charcoal grilled pizza is his own unique twist. He says customers have been eager to give it a try.

“The thing about pizza is one $10 pizza can feed a family in tough times,” said Chris. “And in good times people just order more pizza. They’ll get two or three.”

Chris isn’t wanting to put his boot on before his sock, but he has his fingers crossed that Wetsel’s Grilled Pizzeria will grow. He still has his day job, but he’s hopeful his day job may change if food orders keep flooding in.

“If this goes well, I think the next step would be to get a food truck,” said Chris. “Eventually, I’d like to make my way into an official building, but there’s a lot of overhead in that and I really can’t think of a great building in McMinnville that’s available for that.”

If you’d like to order a pizza, call or text Wetsel’s Grilled Pizzeria at (931) 314-3811.