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Cracker Barrel to open restaurant on U.S. 19

The restaurant chain plans to create 180 jobs and invest more than $2.6-million in its new location.

By JODIE TILLMAN
Published September 12, 2006


NEW PORT RICHEY - Cracker Barrel, the Tennessee restaurant chain known for home-style cooking, is planning to open a location at the Southgate Plaza on U.S. 19.

The company plans to create 180 jobs and invest more than $2.6-million in opening the restaurant and adjoining country store, company real estate director James Torcivia wrote in a letter to city redevelopment officer Caprena Laliberte.

The company, which reported net sales of $2.2-billion in the 2004-05 fiscal year, is asking the city for a financial incentive.

In the letter to Laliberte, Torcivia asked for a $50,000 contribution to go toward complying with a city code requirement that it "flood-proof" the building.

The Community Redevelopment Agency - which consists of the City Council members - will consider the request at its meeting today.

The money would be paid after construction is complete, Laliberte wrote in an Aug. 31 memo.

Cracker Barrel has been in talks with city officials about relocating to the plaza since late last year. Pasco County has one other Cracker Barrel, near Interstate 75 in Wesley Chapel.