A couple of restaurant buildings that have been vacant in Rome may not be empty much longer.
The old Country Gentleman Restaurant at 26 Chateau Drive has been sold and the Fuddruckers at 595 Riverside Parkway is under contract.
The Country Gentleman was sold to an entity called 26 Chateau Drive LLC. Lloyd Griffin, who represented the purchaser, said he was dealing with an individual right up until days before the closing — but when the sale was finalized last Thursday, it went to a corporation.
Griffin and Andy Kight, who represented the seller Charles E. Smith of Calhoun, are with Toles, Temple & Wright Real Estate. Both agents said they had been under the impression the purchaser would put another restaurant in the building. But they said Tuesday that they’re not sure what the plans are at this point.
“Hopefully something will rise out of there soon,” Griffin said.
The building was last occupied by Magnolia Restaurant, operated by Anthony Hooper. It opened in the fall of 2012 but did not stay in business long.
Griffin said that, to Smith’s credit, he maintained payments on the building even though it has been empty for the last six or seven years. Much of the heating and air conditioning equipment and copper wiring had been stolen, he noted, and the new owners will have to undertake “some serious interior renovations.”
Meanwhile, the Fuddruckers location — formerly owned by Charles Curlee under the auspices of CJC Inc. — is under contract to a buyer who does not want to be identified until the sale closes.
Jimmy Byars with Hardy Realty confirmed that the prospective owner is still in the process of putting his financial package together.
The Rome News-Tribune has learned the purchaser is local and already has one restaurant operating in Rome.
Byars said he’s also been getting a lot of interest in the WOW Wingery building on Martha Berry Highway across from Mount Berry Mall.
La Conquista, a Mexican restaurant, occupied that space until a few months ago when it closed.
In one other local restaurant note, Chicken Salad Chick, 800 Martha Berry Highway, is celebrating its first anniversary with a series of specials through this Saturday.
The chain founder, Stacy Brown, is a native of Rome and owns the local restaurant.