By GALEN HOLLEY
Applebee’s Restaurant has pushed back its ground-breaking and plans to build a new, prototype eatery in Grenada.
According to Chris Potter, director of development for the Birmingham-based Quality Restaurant Concepts, which owns the franchise, the restaurant chain was on the cusp of finalizing a new prototype restaurant when they made it official in January that they were committed to the Lake City.
“We’re finalizing plans as we speak,” said Potter.
Applebee’s plans to break ground in May on a 1.6 acre lot just west of State Bank and Trust, in front of Walmart.
According to businessman Justin McPhail, of McPhail and Associates, who assisted in shepherding the deal, the lot belonged to Dr. R.C. Purohit of Senatobia.
“This is not the norm for us,” said Potter. “Usually once the deal is done we’re ready to begin construction within two weeks.”
The Grenada location will make 61 franchises of the eatery nationwide for Quality Restaurant Concepts and 17 in Mississippi.
The restaurant will be approximately 5,000 square feet, according to Potter.
“The main difference you’ll see in this restaurant and other Applebee’s location is aesthetics, including the exterior and the front of the house,” said Potter. “There are different paint schemes.”
Potter estimated that the restaurant will bring around 70 new jobs to Grenada.
Grenada Area Chamber of Commerce President Dolly Marascalco, who led the chamber in welcoming Applebee’s and in arranging the ground breaking, said having a swanky, new prototype restaurant in Grenada will send a message to other businesses.
“If big companies see that Applebee’s thinks well enough of us to build this restaurant they’ll say, ‘Hey, something’s going on in that town.’”