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Cracker Barrel scheduled to open Feb. 10 in Longview

By Richard Yeakley
Oct. 9, 2013 at 11 p.m.

If you live in or around Longview and have nothing more romantic planned for your next Valentine than rocking chairs, checkers and old-timey general stores, you're in luck.

The new Longview Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Restaurant is scheduled to open Feb. 10, just in time for Valentine's Day, company spokeswoman Jeanne Ludington said.

"It is going to have everything the Cracker Barrel is famous for," Ludington said, referring to a covered porch, checkers, rocking chairs, a general store and a fireplace, to name a few.

The spokeswoman said the store, which is going up at 822 S. Access Road near the intersection of S. Eastman Road and Interstate 20, would likely hire more than 100 employees before it opened.

"We generally hire about 150 people. About a month before we open, people will see either signs on the doors or banners saying 'We're Hiring'," Ludington said.

The building will be about 9,000 square feet and the covered porch is planned to be about 1,284 square feet, according to a site plan submitted to the city in April.

She said anyone interested in a management position can apply online now at the Lebanon, Tenn.-based restaurants website.

Reports of Cracker Barrel's move to Longview have been raised for several years, including a 2005 query to the News-Journal's Answer Line column. It also was reported that the city sought to attract the company as early as 2007, according to News-Journal archives.

As recently as December, officials with the organization denied seriously considering placing an establishment in Longview.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has more than 620 company-owned units in 42 states employing about 70,000 people nationwide.

Each unit averages about $4.10 million in annual sales and 6,700 guests per week, according to the company website.

According to Cracker Barrel's website, the closest restaurant is in Tyler, with two others in Texarkana and Shreveport.

The future Cracker Barrel is not the first company to recently locate in the area.

Ludington said the artifacts and memorabilia that will adorn the walls have likely not yet been selected for the Longview store, but the decor attempts to match the region and highlight any important aspect of the community where it is located.



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