published Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Downtown getting Applebee's eatery

Audio clip

Wade Crawford

Applebee's is adding to its Chattanooga offerings with a downtown eatery.

Work has begun at Broad and Fourth streets on the chain's newest entry to the market. The new restaurant is slated to open in mid- to late summer, officials said Monday.

"We're excited to be downtown," said Wade Crawford of franchisee Quality Restaurant Concepts. "We know that's where it's really at in Chattanooga."

The Birmingham-based company already has more than a dozen Applebee's in Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia, he said.

BY THE NUMBERS

There are more than 2,000 Applebee's restaurants in 49 states, 16 countries and one U.S. territory, according to the company.

The downtown unit will offer sidewalk seating and "walkup-to-go" service, Mr. Crawford said.

"There's going to be a lot going on down there at lunchtime. We felt it was best to accommodate that," he said, citing its proximity to a big central city employer such as insurer Unum Group.

Mr. Crawford said the eatery will hire between 100 and 125 people. He declined to disclose the investment in the project.

He said the restaurant will seat 180 people inside and 25 outside. Mr. Crawford said the site, which stretches from Broad to Market Street, also will have parking.

Michael Boudoucies of contractor Project Builders said the former AmSouth Bank drive-though at the site is coming down first.

He termed the restaurant unit "a custom store."

"The construction methods aren't the same if we built it somewhere else," Mr. Boudoucies said. "Being where it is, the exterior framing isn't typical."

Mr. Crawford said the franchisee has owned the site for some time and had been waiting for the right moment to build the restaurant.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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memphisexile said...

Great. Another Chain restaurant downtown. Just what we need.

March 30, 2010 at 9:37 a.m.
biofish said...

There has been a abandoned bank lot there for 5 years man, would you prefer that?.. or a chain restaurant? I too would love local eateries, but don't blame them for being successful and expanding. The masses of tourists who come every year to our downtown area sometimes want to eat at familiar places and often don't have your tastes.

March 30, 2010 at 12:31 p.m.
dave said...

A. We won't need a restaurant if we have no Jobs or money. B. If they don't do something about the violence that is plaguing our streets we won't have any tourists to eat there either. We need a city administration that will DO their jobs and STOP trying to find ways to TAX the people for all they are worth!

March 30, 2010 at 5:29 p.m.
Warren said...

@dave Applebees isn't owned by the city.

April 1, 2010 at 3:01 p.m.
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