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Business Pulse - Mexican restaurant chain remains mystery
Village - Race Henson.jpg
Rayce Henson has been the face of Village Car Wash for 33 years. When he started, he worked for free the first two weeks to see if he’d like it.

It was on Tuesday when I announced on the Southern Standard’s Facebook page that the hotel developer who will be bring us a Hampton Inn has decided on his choice of restaurant to accompany it.

So without further ado, and with drumroll please … the restaurant that will be placed in front of our new hotel with be, wait for it, a well-known Mexican chain.

My initial reaction was much like the internet’s reaction, which is never kind or gentle. The internet has a way of being somewhat cruel, sarcastic and unforgiving.

But I noticed an interesting thing after all the insults were hurled. People really want to know what Mexican chain it will be, myself included.

In hopes of finding an answer, I called hotel developer David Hunt in hopes he would answer my call. No luck.

So I did the next best thing. I texted him.

Mr. Hunt was kind enough to text back, but his message was clear. He is not about to reveal the name of the Mexican chain at this time.

That leaves me to wild speculation, which is just that. 

I don’t know any more than you, or what your Google search can uncover. If I had to make a guess with $1 on the line, I would guess the well-known Mexican chain to locate here would be Moe’s. 

I say that mainly because my sister used to work at a Moe’s many years ago and I loved eating there. Of course that assessment could be tainted because my sister hooked me up with all the free food, but I still loved eating a Moe’s.

As for the Hampton Inn hotel to be built on Sparta Street, Mr. Hunt is hopeful it’s up and running by this time next year. I hope so too.

Village Car Wash

Has new owner

If you’ve been working yourself into a lather wondering what’s going to locate at the Village Car Wash spot, I’m about to come clean with the answer.

After some 18 months on the market, the location is going to remain a car wash. Wash ‘N Roll has bought the property and is in the process of locating a sparkling new facility there.

Most everything will be redone and all new equipment is set to be installed. One emphasis of Wash ‘N Roll is monthly deals where you pay a flat fee – as low as $18.95 – and get unlimited use all month. Just think of the possibilities of washing your car every day.

Joe Anish owned Village Car Wash since August of 1999, taking over for his father-in-law and founder James Walling, who opened it in 1964.

“James liked to say he built the first self-serve car wash in the state of Tennessee,” said Joe. “At that time, nobody had seen a self-serve car wash here and most people thought it would just be a fad. He hooked up a couple pressure pumps and built it beside what was Black Cat Tire. He came up with the concept.”

Mr. Walling went on to build self-serve car washes all around Middle Tennessee, including Lebanon, Dunlap, Chattanooga, Signal Mounting, Mt. Juliet, and more. With all that history, Joe says he is thrilled the buyer is dedicated to keeping the location a car wash.

“Probably the most exciting thing for our family is it’s still a car wash,” said Joe. “To have a car wash at one location for 55 years is really unheard of. Four generations of our family have worked there so it’s been a part of our family for a long time. It’s a big relief to know that it will continue as a car wash probably for 10 or 20 years to come.”

One of the mainstays and the face of Village Car Wash for 33 years is Rayce Henson. For a car wash that’s open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, Rayce has worked his share of seven-day work weeks. But his work career at Village had an intriguing start.

“I said I’d work the first two weeks for free just to see if I would like it,” said Rayce, who obviously took to the job. “This has been great for me because I’ve gotten to meet so many people. The first 10 years, I worked seven days a week. When Joe took over, he told me I needed to take one day off so I’ve been off on Mondays.”

Joe says the dedication shown by Rayce has been amazing.

“He’s able to communicate with everyone and I think we have a lot of customers who came to the car wash just to see him,” said Joe. “He’s a good talker and a good listener and even a counselor at times.”

I’ll have more information about Wash ‘N Roll in a future edition of the Standard. The company currently has nine locations, according to its website, with 11 more upcoming locations, which includes McMinnville.

Joe said all of the equipment is going to be updated and he expects the changeover to take one to two months. Stay tuned.

No more Nissan

Cuts expected

After reporting in last week’s column about Nissan’s plan for a 9% global workforce reduction, which amounts to some 12,500 jobs, I had a chance to chat with Lloryn Love-Carter. Lloryn is manager of corporate communications for Nissan North America and is really on top of her game.

She pointed out Nissan has already made adjustments at its massive facility in Smyrna that we all known and love and she said no further action is expected for Middle Tennessee. In short, if you have a job at Nissan in Smyrna, Lloryn said you can rest well at night knowing your job is safe.

“Nissan has already taken steps to right-size our North America region,” said Love-Carter. “We will continue to monitor and react to market demand, but have no plans for further workforce reductions at this time.”

That’s news I’m happy to convey because Nissan is one of the most impactful forces in the entire Middle Tennessee economy.

New market opens

In Newtown

After months of looking at an empty building, Sid Patel has finally brought life to his new store in Newtown. Hina Tobacco and Beer opened Thursday. It’s located across the street from Sid’s longtime business, which is Hina Food Market.

“It will probably take a week or so before people get used to it being open,” said Sid. “We have more signs on the way and I think that will help when we get more signs in the front.”

The store, which is squeaky clean and has plenty of room to roam, was originally constructed to be a liquor store. However, there have been some issues which have caused delays in opening the liquor store.

Without going into all of those issues at this time, it’s sufficient to say the store does not sell liquor at this time. It does sell all types of snacks, drinks, lottery tickets, beer and cigarettes.

Sid says he’s still probably about a year away from getting his liquor license.

In an interesting sidenote, Sid also owns the building which was formerly Newtown Foodland and Newtown Meat Market. That building is now sitting empty and there are no immediate plans for a tenant, Sid told me Friday.

That’s all folks

Be sure to soak in summer fun and soak in summer business tips. The number to call is 473-2191.