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Business Cheetah 9-18
New Hardee's building on the rise
Billy Foutch is approaching one year at Foutchs Family Restaurant on Sparta Street. Hes no longer affiliated with the restaurant in Newtown which still has his name.

The slab has been poured. Now it’s only a matter of time before sausage gravy begins pouring too.
In my effort to keep you informed every time a new block is placed at Hardee’s, allow me to provide the following update. I stopped by the construction site Friday and talked to superintendent Danny Larrimore who was thrilled to have the building slab complete.
“We’ll start framing on Monday,” said Danny. “You’ll see walls going up. It should take us about 10 days to finish the framing and then we’ll get to roughing in the interior.”
The Hardee’s site has been swarming with activity over the past week with around 30 people on hand to handle the block and concrete work. Danny said the biggest challenge was getting the slab finished and now it will be like running downhill.
The new Hardee’s restaurant will be 2,500 square feet. It’s being built on virtually the same spot as the old Hardee’s. The main difference is the restaurant will be flipped so the drive-thru window will be facing West Main Street. Drive-thru traffic will wrap around the entire building in an effort to keep it from spilling into the road.
Danny said it gets much easier to make projections once the slab is finished. He said Hardee’s should be open around the first of December. He said a more exact date should be available in a couple weeks. This is tremendous news which should make us all just a little happier.

Steakhouse and sushi Bar ready to sizzle

Leo Li has made the trip all the way from New York City to McMinnville and he’s on the verge of opening Saki, a new Japanese restaurant at Plaza Shopping Center. Leo tells me Saki will open this Thursday at 11 a.m.
If you’ve been craving Japanese food, Saki is the place to visit. The menu features dozens and dozens of sushi options, including several vegetarian offerings, and also has a full menu of entrees.
If you’d like to try something off the hibachi grill, there’s steak, shrimp, chicken, scallops, lobster tail, salmon, and vegetable options. There’s also fried rice, noodles, soup, salad, and the ever-popular chicken teriyaki.
Leo says he’s been working on the building for two to three months. He has it really looking nice. He points out the building has been a restaurant for years so there wasn’t major changes to be made. It’s also been remodeled two or three times over the past five years as every new tenant adds a new touch. The end result is it’s a restaurant that now looks very clean, which is crucial for picky customers like me.
Peking Chinese Restaurant operated at that location for about 10 years and has been the restaurant with the longest staying power at that spot. Since Peking closed, there have been two Japanese restaurants and most recently The Chef and His Crew, which operated a food both at the fair.
To give Saki a try, stop by during regular hours which are Sunday thru Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Progress continues on robotics center

If you want proof of what educational opportunities can do for an area, look no further than what MTSU has done for Murfreesboro, or what Tennessee Tech has done for Cookeville. Those universities have helped their cities flourish.
A proposed advanced robotics training center in McMinnville could produce similar results. The facility has been in the planning stages for more than a year and it’s reaching the point of action.
On Monday, the Warren County Commission will vote on whether to donate 4.3 acres of land next to the technology center on Vo-Tech Drive for the project. And we should find out in the coming days if we’re awarded a $900,000 grant from the state. Also on the horizon is a potential $5 million grant from the state as part of the governor’s Drive to 55 initiative.
Said Mayor Jimmy Haley, “This would change the face of McMinnville.”
Added Industrial Development Board director Don Alexander, “This would supply a need that’s not being met anywhere else in the state. There’s a dire need for this type of training and this project has really been industry-driven from the get-go. The industries support it because they need employees with this type of skilled training.”
Just like the rest of our lives, our manufacturing plants are becoming more and more automated. Computers and robots are handling a greater portion of the workload which means two things: 1) these robots must be programmed to do the jobs, and 2) they must be repaired when they break down.
That’s the reason our Mechatronics program has been such a success at Motlow College and now at WCHS. It trains students with skills that are needed in the workforce. Now more training is needed in order for us to keep up with technology’s tiring pace.
The great thing about such an advanced robotics center is it would be a magnet for high-tech training for industries throughout the state. People would come from far and wide to utilize it. The facility would be like a flashlight in a world of darkness. It would be like calamine lotion in a world of poison ivy. I hope it happens.

Answering the call for phone repairs

It was three weeks ago when I reported on the upcoming closure of our DTC Wireless store next to Foodland Plus. DTC Wireless is set to close Sept. 30 and I said this was an unfortunate development because the business is valuable as a phone repair service.
What I failed to mention is Scotty’s Computers on Smithville Highway also handles phone repairs and that business remains alive and well. It’s doing so well, business owner Scotty Lawson is holding a customer appreciation day this coming Saturday, Sept. 24, from 3 to 5 p.m.
The customer appreciation day will include free hotdogs and drinks, free door prizes, gospel singing by The Agee Family, and a $25 cleanup special that’s regularly a $75 value.
“Cracked screens are our most common repair,” said Scotty. “We do a number of repairs for any type of tablet, iPhone, iPod, and iPad. We stock over 100 parts, including iPhone batteries and speakers. Having the ear speaker go out is a real common problem. The phone will work fine, but you can’t carry on a conversation because you can’t hear the other person.”
Scotty says computers have a tendency to get slower over time, but cellphones don’t generally have that problem. If you have a computer, cellphone or tablet you need to have repaired, this Saturday would be an opportune time to drop it by Scotty’s Computers. It’s located across from Gateway Tire. The business can be reached at 668-7070.

Billy no longer with Billy’s

When a restaurant bears your name, and it’s a restaurant you operated for decades, it’s hard to get folks to understand you’re no longer affiliated with it. That’s a problem Billy Foutch says he’s experiencing with Billy’s Restaurant in Newtown.
For those who may not know, Billy sold that restaurant in September 2013. It remains in business and is a fine establishment. It’s a great place to eat and enjoy delicious food.
Billy says he doesn’t have a problem with the restaurant, but he’s tired of always getting questions about it. Now that he’s opened Foutch’s Family Restaurant on Sparta Street, he says he’s regularly asked about Billy’s Restaurant, which is not a business he owns.
“In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have let them keep the name because people still think it’s me,” said Billy.
Business Cheetah proudly supports Billy’s Restaurant and Foutch’s Family Restaurant. Billy is simply hoping to clear up any misunderstanding about which restaurant he owns.

More talk about a spec building

On occasion, I like to talk about spec buildings. I find the topic fascinating.
So do members of our Industrial Development Board, who discussed on Thursday what type of spec building we should be considering for Mt. View Industrial Park.
For those who may not remember, the IDB has constructed three spec buildings. All three have been snatched up and are currently occupied by industries.
Simply put, spec buildings lead to new industries locating here. They lead to jobs. They lead to wealth and prosperity.
IDB director Don Alexander says there are no spec buildings currently available in the Midstate.
He says these buildings are especially handy because they allow companies to act quickly, saving them time from starting from scratch.
“I’m just curious what type of building we’d like to construct?” Don asked members of the board. “What type of building we have determines what type of industry we attract. If we build a building with a 40-foot ceiling and skyhooks, we’re going to attract an auto supplier. That certainly seems like the lowest hanging fruit right now. If we build an elongated building with ceilings that are not quite so high, we’re more likely to attract a food processing center.”
Don said the quickest turnaround would be to construct a building with at least a 40-foot ceiling for an auto supplier. But he said the region is saturated with this type of industry and board members might want to consider diversifying the workforce so we don’t have all of our eggs in one proverbial basket.
IDB member Gary Judkins suggested having one meeting devoted entirely to discussing the type of spec building that would be the best fit for the county. Board members seemed in general agreement they need to work toward another spec building and place it on available land at Mt. View Industrial Park in Morrison.
“I like what I’m hearing,” said IDB president Tommy Foster. “We have land and we need to use it.”
Board members agreed to continue thinking about potential industries to attract and they will revisit the subject later.

That’s all folks

Say goodbye to our beloved fair for another year. The fair may be leaving, but the memories remain in our hearts. If you find it in your heart, phone in business tips at 473-2191.