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Business Pulse - Remodeling work that's finger-licking good
KFC sign
If remodeling work progresses as hoped, our local KFC on Smithville Highway will be open by Christmas.

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the remodeled KFC restaurant in McMinnville, of course.

For KFC lovers, the past month has no doubt been a battle of endurance and willpower. The restaurant on Smithville Highway has been closed since Nov. 4 for remodeling, leaving scores of chicken enthusiasts yearning for the colonel’s secret recipes.

Unfortunately, today’s column doesn’t bring happy news of a KFC reopening date. Local residents are going to have to suppress their cravings for that special blend of 11 herbs and spices for probably at least two more weeks, possibly longer. KFC is not on the verge of reopening just yet.

“We’re hoping to be back open by Christmas, but I don’t have a date yet,” said local KFC manager David Owens. “If we’re not open by Christmas, it won’t be till the first of the year because these guys will be taking off time to spend with their families,” he said of the renovation crew.

When KFC does reopen, it will be time to sing, rejoice and eat finger-licking chicken. There will be a new lobby and new buffet serving area, a new drink station, wheelchair-accessible bathrooms, new kitchen equipment and more.

There will also be more employees to handle an expected rush of customers.

“I’m in the process of trying to hire 30 more,” said Owens. “We’re expecting a 25 percent increase in sales when we reopen and we were already doing pretty well as it was. This will put us in line with the Murfreesboro stores.”

For those wondering, our KFC was due for some tender, loving care. The restaurant hasn’t been remodeled since it was made into a KFC/ Long John Silvers. For those with long memories, that happened in 2004. The Long John Silvers brand left our local restaurant probably a decade ago.

As for popular menu items, the KFC chicken and waffles is receiving mouth-watering reviews. There's also KFC’s signature hot wings, which are said to be delicious.

David said he’d give me a heads-up when KFC is ready to reopen. When he provides that information to me, I’ll pass it along to you.

Dr. Miller opens

Downtown office

It was more than two years ago when Dr. Trea Miller joined the highly esteemed chiropractic office of Dr. Leland Northcutt and began practicing in McMinnville. That was in August 2017.

After learning under the tutelage of one of the best, Dr. Miller has decided it’s time to leave the nest so to speak. He’s spread his wings and on Monday he opened Miller Chiropractic Center at 111 E. Morford Street. He has office hours six days a week and can be reached for an appointment at (931) 507-2225.

“I’m really grateful to Leland for everything he’s done for me, but I’m at the point where I’m ready to do my own thing,” said Dr. Miller.

Folks often think of a chiropractor when they’re in pain, especially back pain, but Dr. Miller says it’s also important not to neglect routine maintenance.

“I call it spinal hygiene, kind of like going to the dentist,” said Dr. Miller. “Only 20 percent of our nerve fibers release pain so there’s a good chance you can have decreased function and not realize it because you’re not feeling pain. It’s important to keep the spine in proper alignment. Coming regularly is a wellness thing.”

For those dealing with acute pain and grasping for relief, Dr. Miller can help you feel better. Back pain and neck pain are two of most common ailments he deals with regularly. He can also perform a dry needling technique which is similar to acupuncture.

When Dr. Miller isn’t adjusting spines, he’s an interesting guy. He enjoys spending time at the gym and also working on his late-model dirt track race car, which can reach speeds of 110 mph.

He races on oval tracks in Clarksville, Chattanooga, Shelbyville and other places.

“There’s a lot of bumping and banging that goes on while I’m sitting on a metal seat so I know first-hand the benefits chiropractic work has had on me,” said Dr. Miller.

Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday thru Friday, with two hours of availability on Saturday mornings from 8 to 10 a.m. Insurance is accepted and the office has a digital check-in system in place to expedite patient visits.

Residents out,

Commercial in

The commercialization of the two-lane portion of N. Chancery Street which leads to Walmart continues as yet another former home is being converted to a business.

Chris and Christina Stanford are in the process of moving their legal office, Stanford Law Firm, from Main Street to N. Chancery in the house between Neil Helton State Farm and Shelter Insurance.

“We’ve had the property about three weeks and we’re working on paving the driveway, putting up a sign and getting it ready,” said Christina on Monday. “It’s been a lot of work. I’m eager to be done and get back to concentrating on practicing law.”

Christina says their law office has been on the corner of Main Street diagonal to the library for about two years in the Gibson Insurance building. She says the plan is to be moved into the new office Jan. 2.

Stanford Law Firm concentrates its practice in Warren County, but also serves surrounding areas like Van Buren, DeKalb and White counties.

The days of that stretch of N. Chancery Street serving as a residential area are over. What would really be appropriate, and this is by no means an original idea, is for the street to be widened to better accommodate traffic.

There’s also been speculation a local hotel operator has interest in placing a new hotel and convention center on N. Chancery on the side of the road which is mostly vacant. I’d think a wider road would almost certainly be necessary to handle increased traffic if that ever was to happen.

A wider N. Chancery Street was a done deal about 9-10 years ago. City officials actually had to go back and reverse a vote they had already taken in order to keep the road two lanes.

When formulating 5-year and 10-year plans for the city, a wider N. Chancery Street needs to be tackled somewhere in that timeframe. 

Habitat Restore

Has great deals

I enjoy saving money when I shop, but I often forget about the Habitat Restore which is open three days a week in the old cheese plant. It’s easy to forget about the store because it’s not in a traditional retail area. An old processing facility is not generally where I think to shop, but it certainly has the potential to provide tremendous savings for those who remember.

I stopped by the Habitat Restore at 191 Industrial Drive on Thursday to publicize the charity work of B&P Lamp. The local company has donated a considerable amount of new merchandise to the Habitat Restore with a rough value of around $4,000.

“B&P Lamp donated a whole warehouse of supplies for us to sell in our store,” said Terry King, the local Habitat for Humanity administrator. “This includes pictures, tables, lampshades and some really nice mahogany mantels. It’s really been a big help.”

Revenue from the Habitat Restore is used to directly fund our Habitat for Humanity efforts. The local program was established in 1996 and the first home was finished in 1998. To date, 32 homes have been finished.

One thing I always like to clear up is Habitat homes are not given to the recipients. They are financed just like many other home purchases, although this is at a favorable price because much of the labor is donated.

That little education blurb aside, local residents might want to check out the Habitat Restore to see what’s available. I left with a brand new lampshade Thursday at a fraction of the price of what I’d normally pay.

“We’re happy you guys are making good use of this donation and finding homes for things we couldn’t,” said B&P Lamp representative Laura Gheesling.

Habitat Restore employees Chuck Patterson and El Gliden say the store consistently stays busy so perhaps I’m the only one not familiar with the great deals around every corner.

Habitat officials also want to give special thanks to Dr Pepper, which has provided free drinks to volunteers working to construct all 32 homes in Warren County.

Habitat Restore hours are Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The phone number is 474-9000.