Home Money East State Street to host Texas Roadhouse restaurant

East State Street to host Texas Roadhouse restaurant

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As one business prepares to build in Athens, another may be pushed out of the way as the Texas Roadhouse franchise plans to build a new restaurant in Athens.

The restaurant is planned for the parking lot of The Market on State in front of Tractor Supply. The address would be 994 E. State St.

The plans have been reviewed by the City Code Office, Department of Public Works, Streets Department, Police Department and Fire Department and relatively minor concerns were raised regarding parking and traffic, sewer, lighting, water and lot tree coverage.

After the company met with the Athens Shade Tree Commission they determined the site would require 16 trees and got its plans approved.

Operating hours for the new restaurant are approximated to be 4-10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

According to Athens Service-Safety Director Paula Horan Moseley, the restaurant comes into conflict with the twice-weekly Athens Farmers Market.

The Farmers Market occupies a portion of the parking lot where the restaurant is planned. The Market on State owners Brent Hayes and Tom Parfitt have previously discussed moving the Farmers Market partially to another area of the parking lot to accommodate the new restaurant.

“We have no lease with the Farmers Market at this time,” Hayes said, “We told the Farmers Market we would try to work with them, and we will work with them, but we have no lease right now.”

Hayes and Parfitt entered into negotiations this past spring with the market leadership to get a long-term lease signed, but a lease never appeared. A verbal agreement was made to keep the market situation as-is through the end of the year when the Farmers Market moves inside the Market on State for the winter. The owners are respecting the written lease agreements and other obligations with the other tenants of The Market on East State Street.

Hayes confirmed Sunday that the Farmers Market will move inside again this winter and by spring the Texas Roadhouse building should be complete. With the completion, they will have a better idea of how much space the restaurant will be occupying and what areas of the parking lot will be available to the Farmers Market.

The Texas Roadhouse will seat approximately 245 guests and employ up to 150 people. Typically 45 people would be working at a time, Neal Niklaus, a market partner and owner for various other Texas Roadhouse branches in Ohio, said. The company’s goal is to get the restaurant opened by mid-February 2014, if all goes as planned. The company will set up a trailer to start the hiring process soon.

“The college-town appeal combined with the location along major routes made the site a no-brainer,” Niklaus said.

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