published Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Chattanooga Council approves arcade, restaurant on Lee Highway

A Dave & Buster's-type restaurant and entertainment complex is planned for Lee Highway and has won City Council approval over concerns by some neighbors about its serving alcohol.

Chattanooga developer Tim McClure said he's investing over $5 million in the project he predicts will draw a half-million people annually to the former Circuit City store site near Highway 153.

Work on Malibu's Family Food and Entertainment is to start after the first of the year and the complex will open in late spring or early summer, he said.

"It's an opportunity for a family to come down with kids and do whatever they want to do," he said about the business that will stay open until 2 a.m. some days.

McClure said he's buying the building in the shopping center with plans to gut the inside and remake it into the facility that will seat over 300 in its restaurant and offer 50 to 100 video and other games.

"The majority will be adult oriented. There will be some for young kids," he said.

However, there were safety and other concerns expressed.

Greg Miller, who owns a business in the area, cited worries about youngsters who attend the Scenic City Dance Center nearby.

"Whenever you've got alcohol and children, you've got potential for other problems," he said. "I don't think it's a good look for that community."

Stacey Perkinson, owner of the dance center, told the City Council on Tuesday that parents have expressed worries.

"The biggest concern is the negative impact it would have on my business in the sense of parents' perception," she said.

But Liz Regnitz of Southern Hearth & Patio on Lee Highway said bringing business to the area is a positive.

"Anytime a new business opens up, it's a good thing," she said. "It would bring new traffic to Lee Highway."

McClure said the site will have a family atmosphere, though it will serve beer and mixed drinks.

"It's an opportunity for people to come out and hang out," he said. "It offers something for everybody."

McClure said Dave & Buster's itself wouldn't come to a secondary market such as Chattanooga. He said he's looking at setting up a couple more of the concept in other cities with Knoxville potentially next.

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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Just don't try to get approval for a pancake restaurant.

December 1, 2011 at 10:55 a.m.
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