Bob Vint, vice president of operations for L.D. Reeves and Associates in Punta Gorda, Fla., confirmed Friday that the popular home-style eatery will begin work on Jasper’s newest restaurant on Jan. 6.
L.D. Reeves and Associates is a development company that handles site evaluation and the plan approval process for the Lebanon, Tenn.-based Cracker Barrel.
Vint, when contacted Friday, said work is scheduled to begin Monday, Jan. 6, and start with any necessary site preparation.
“I know it seems to a lot of people like it’s taken forever, but Cracker Barrel reaches out way in advance for a project to make sure everything is going to work out like they need it to,” Vint said. “But really, this has been a very easy, fast process. The city of Jasper, and especially Keith Pike in the planning department and others in the zoning department, have just been fabulous to work with.”
Vint also singled out the work of the city’s water works department and David Knight, executive director of the Walker County Economic and Industrial Development Authority, in helping the project move forward.
Construction is expected to take 180 days, Vint said.
“A lot of it is weather-dependent,” he added, “but from groundbreaking until time to open is normally about 180 days.”
Jasper Mayor Sonny Posey said he’s thrilled with the news that the project that was first announced almost 18 months ago is about to begin.
“This is great news, and it’s a great situation for us to be in in the midst of a lot of other great things that are going on in our community,” Posey said Friday afternoon. “We look forward to having Cracker Barrel become one of our best corporate citizens. We know what this community will do. They will support them like they do with almost any business venture such as this, especially one that is going to be developing in such an important location along the new I-22. We welcome Cracker Barrel and look forward to a lot of great years working with them.”
“I know the people there are excited about this project,” Vint said, “and I know there’s been all kinds of rumors floating around Jasper that Cracker Barrel was going somewhere else. But there has never been another site in the area that’s been considered. Jasper has always been the choice.”
“There have been the naysayers, but we’ve known better all along that Cracker Barrel was coming to Jasper,” Posey said. “We’re ready now to let it roll.”
The company, which opened its first location in 1969 in Lebanon, Tenn., is known for its home-style cooking and country-themed gift shop.
The corporate website states that the chain owns 600 restaurants in 42 states.