06/10/09 — Officials say Cracker Barrel a no go for now in Goldsboro

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Officials say Cracker Barrel a no go for now in Goldsboro

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on June 10, 2009 1:46 PM

You won't be seeing those famous rocking chairs on Berkeley Boulevard any time soon.

Although there has been talk about a Cracker Barrel coming to Goldsboro, company representatives now say it's unlikely there will be a store breaking ground within the next year.

"We are considering the area, but I don't have any definite news," said Julie Davis, a spokesperson for the Lebanon, Tenn.-based company.

"It can be a very slow processs at times," she added. "Until we have a shovel in the ground, we generally don't like to talk about our plans, because we don't know what could happen."

The company has a team of real estate agents who travel the country looking for opportunities for new stores. These agents tend to look for "areas that show vitality and growth potential," Ms. Davis said. "We'll take a look at population counts and traffic counts."

They also examine potential competitors, both other restaurants and nearby retail stores, since Cracker Barrel is a combined restaurant and country store.

While the company is considering Goldsboro for a new store, there are no plans to make a move on breaking ground any time within the next year or more.

"I think that's fair to say," Ms. Davis said.

Goldsboro Planning Director Randy Guthrie said it has been about six months since the city had any official communication with Cracker Barrel.

"I haven't spoken to them in forever, it's been a long time since I've spoken to them," he said.

The company has shown a definite interest in the past, though.

"We have talked to them about multiple sites in town, but they have not followed up," Guthrie said.

If the company does decide to open a store in Goldsboro, it's likely it will do a thorough plan beforehand. Usually, the company scouts out a location well before following through with a new store, Guthrie said.

"They'll come in and meet and evaluate before anything," he said.

Wayne Memorial Drive and Berkeley Boulevard were two sites the company and city previously discussed as possible locations for a Cracker Barrel store.