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Cracker Barrel considers Covington site

Photo by Kristen Ralph

Photo by Kristen Ralph

COVINGTON -- Perhaps things are looking up in this glum economy, at least for one local development site. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Restaurant may be locating at Ga. Highway 142 and Lochridge Boulevard next year, and at least two other businesses have expressed interest in the same area.

Cracker Barrel is targeting the northeast lot along Lochridge, near the Hampton Inn, according to Morris Ewing Jr. of Ewing Southeast Realty, the property owner.

Cracker Barrel representatives have signed a letter of intent to locate at the site but have not secured all the necessary corporate approvals, according to Ewing. Cracker Barrel had previously considered a nearby lot but backed out in 2009 due to the economy, Ewing said.

If all goes as planned, the restaurant would be built next spring.

"The No. 1 request we receive from anyone is for more restaurants," Ewing said. Mellow Mushroom has also shown preliminary interest in a nearby lot and discussions are also under way with Kauffman Tire.

Ewing Southeast Realty owns approximately 18 acres along the highway, spanning from the former site of the Brentwood duplexes to Interstate 20, proposed to be developed with a mix of mostly retail and restaurants.