Council OKs bridge rehab, alcohol at Cracker Barrel

The Cracker Barrel location on Concourse Parkway (pictured) and the store on West Pointe Court located in Lithia Springs within the Douglasville city limits received approval from the city council on Monday to begin serving alcohol.

The Douglasville City Council approved an agreement for a bridge over Riverside Parkway and the sale of alcohol at two Cracker Barrel restaurants during its legislative meeting Monday.

Additionally, the city extended its moratorium on new or expanding small box discount stores.

All four items were approved unanimously by the council on Monday night.

As expected the council approved an agreement for the Georgia Department of Transportation for the construction and rehabilitation of a bridge on Riverside Parkway across Sweetwater Creek.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year, according to Patrice Williams, the city’s community development director.

The total cost of the project is $843,888 with $675,110 coming out of a federal program through GDOT, according to a construction agreement report.

In addition, the council gave the OK for both Cracker Barrel locations in the city to begin selling alcohol.

The managers of each of the restaurants spoke at the meeting. No resident spoke for or against the licenses during the public hearing portion of the meeting.

Cracker Barrel has locations on Concourse Parkway of Highway 5 and West Pointe Court of Thornton Road, both of which are within the city limits of Douglasville.

The Tennessee-based restaurant chain, known for its biscuits and gravy, began selling alcohol at select Florida locations last year.

It is the first time in the 51-year history of the restaurant that it has sold alcoholic beverages as part of its menu.

The managers told the council that sales will begin as soon as they receive their licenses. They said employees that are eligible to sell customers alcohol have already been through company training.

Cracker Barrel started testing the alcohol concept before the pandemic begin. After a successful launch at over 100 locations, the company decided to make it a permanent menu item in select markets.

The test stores were located in Florida, Kentucky and its home base of Tennessee.

Company CEO Sandra Cochran told shareholders that the new concept had been well-received by customers.

The current moratorium on small box stores was set to expire at the end of the month. The extension would run until Aug. 31. A study on small box stores is expected to be published next week by Georgia State University.

Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores are the biggest small box store brands in the United States.

The stores have a combined total of 20 locations within the county, and five stores within the city limits of Douglasville.

Officials said there are no pending requests to build or open a new small box store that would be impacted by the moratorium.