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Business Pulse - Old Bojangles awaits new tenant
Terry Connor new office
The big question of the week is whats going into this shopping center on Chancery Street next to Rite Aid. Eye doctor Terry Connor is remodeling the building and hopes to move in by the end of this year.

The old Bojangles location didn’t work for Bojangles, but that doesn’t mean it can’t work for you.

The prime-time location on The Strip is currently available for lease, according to Bojangles representative Joe DosReis.

“We are securing a broker who will be the point of contact for anyone interested in the property,” said DosReis. “We’re really looking to sublease the property, although we would entertain an offer if someone wants to buy it.”

DosReis said the broker will be Mike Baggett of Colliers International and he can be reached at (615) 289-2340. For anyone wanting information from Mr. DosReis, he can be reached at (703) 314-7997 or by email at jdosreis@bojangles.com.

It’s my hope a new tenant for Bojangles will be found soon so the building doesn’t sit empty for months, or years. I’ve tried to convince Gary Prater to move world-famous Prater’s BBQ into that spot, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.

For anyone out there searching for leasing information on the old Bojangles, my work is done.

New business In sight

The building next to Rite Aid is in the process of being gutted. For motorists driving by the shopping center and seeing the construction work, they have one question: “What’s moving in?”

I have the answer. Optometrist Terry Connor has bought the building and will be using the entire space for his office, which is currently located by the fairgrounds.

“Space wise, we really needed more room,” said Dr. Connor. “It should be a good move for us. I’m anxious to get it done. I wish it was done now.”

Terry says it’s his goal to make a top-of-the-line facility that caters to the vision needs of local residents. Terry says his practice has experienced growth since he was joined by Dr. Jamie Keele earlier this year.

Anyone driving by Dr. Connor’s current building may have noticed the large “For Sale” sign in front. Terry says the building is owned by Dr. Andrew Dean and it will be available for possession once he leaves.

Terry hopes to be in his new place by the end of the year if there are no unexpected delays. Of course we know there are alwa*ys unexpected delays.

Hotel clears state hurdle

We here at the Standard have done a marvelous job publicizing the push for a new hotel that’s been made by Industrial Development Board director Don Alexander.

Don put together a tax incentive program that will result in some serious tax relief for Hunt Properties to construct a Hampton Inn hotel on Sparta Street. According to preliminary plans, the development will include an indoor pool, a conference center, and an adjacent restaurant.

Both city and county governments had to give their stamp of approval on the tax relief program before the measure was presented to the state. Don called me Thursday afternoon as giddy as a gorilla to say the state had given the final OK and the project can proceed with full tax relief benefits to the developer.

Don says he’s not sure when construction may begin, but the initial hope months and months ago was to start the project this fall. With construction booming and most available crews already hard at work, I’m not sure if the timetable has changed. I will provide more information as it becomes available.


Last showing for
Old Cowan Oldham

A demolition project that unfolded before our eyes in super slow motion has finally reached an end. The old Cowan Oldham Theater, most recently a retail center, has been toppled to the ground.

Property owner Bobby Kirby says now that the pesky building has been removed, the property can be promoted for its great location. Bobby told me on Thursday the site is a great place for a new national restaurant and could hopefully become a full-service bar/ restaurant.

I’m not sure about the bar part, but a Cracker Barrel would be nice. Many folks may not know this tidbit of information about me, but I once worked at the Cracker Barrel across from Opryland Hotel decades ago and the restaurant was never slow. It was busy from the time we opened the doors till the time we pushed people out at closing time.

New food truck On a roll

You don’t have to travel to an exotic island to find a great place to eat. Food Paradise has arrived in Warren County.

The new food trailer is owned and operated by Kimberly and Steve Nunley and has been open a couple weeks. Thus far its primary location has been Belmont Drive in front of the old DeZurik building, but Kimberly says she plans to explore new locations in the coming weeks.

“We’re going to stay here a couple days a week, but we’d like to move around too,” said Kimberly, who said she’s working on getting spots at the mall and by Lowe’s, but she said that has not been finalized.

Kimberly said she bought the food trailer with the idea of selling primarily hotdogs as she has 11 different types of hotdogs on her menu. But that hasn’t been the top choice.

“Hamburgers have definitely been the best seller,” said Kimberly.

The specials on Friday included $2 tacos, $4 Philly cheesesteaks, and spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic toast for $6. All drinks are $1. Kimberly said she bought the food trailer because she wanted to go into business for herself.

“I was working at Walmart in the deli and cooking food all the time,” said Kimberly. “I thought if I can cook all this food for other people here, then I might as well do it on my own. Right now we’re just working to get our name out there. We’ll be at events like the Autumn Street Fair.”

Kimberly said she bought the food trailer from a dealer in Sevierville and is well pleased with its operation. She admitted food trailers seem like the popular way to go in a day when people are going with that option far more than they are opening restaurants with dining rooms.

You can call in your order ahead of time at Food Paradise at (931) 304-4463. Kimberly says they have a Facebook page.

That’s all folks

I hope today’s column answered all your business questions. If not, feel free to call me at 473-2191 and I will try to find the information.