Cracker Barrel, a Tennessee-based restaurant chain with more than 600 franchises nationwide, is scheduled to open a new location near Sun City Hilton Head in July.
The restaurant will be at Okatie Crossings on the north side of U.S. 278, just west of its intersection with S.C. 170, next to Wendy's and Firestone Complete Auto Care.
Cracker Barrel spokeswoman Julie Davis said the restaurant's management is excited to open a new location in Beaufort County.
"We take into account a variety of things when deciding where to open," Davis said. "We look at population count, traffic patterns, and what competition we might have. This is a growing area with a lot of vitality."
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Cracker Barrel operated a restaurant near The Mall at Shelter Cove on Hilton Head Island for 19 years before closing in 2006. Now, the nearest Cracker Barrel in the state is in Walterboro.
Shortly after securing the building permits from the city of Hardeeville in early January, a crew of about 20 workers began grading the two-acre parcel and are now preparing it for utility installation.
Next week, the crew will begin laying the foundation and raising the structure's steel framework, according to project supervisor Warren Bernard. He said plumbers and carpenters also should make their first trips to the construction site next week.
"Barring anything unforeseen, like a hurricane or something, this should be ready to open by mid-July," Bernard said.
In accordance with the city's development code for Okatie Crossings, the restaurant's parking lot will have nine spaces set aside for golf carts, to accommodate guests from nearby Sun City.
The average Cracker Barrel hosts 6,900 guests per week and generates more than $4 million in annual sales, according to the company's website.
"This is something that the people of Hardeeville are very positive about,"said Brana Rogerson of the city's Planning and Development Services Department.
Follow reporter Grant Martin at Twitter.com/LowCoBiz.