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Franchise owner details Zaxby's plans
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Franchise owner details Zaxby's plans




The franchise owner of Zaxby’s has been interested in the Wilson market for years, but it wasn’t until recently that he found a prime location along Raleigh Road Parkway.

Tom Little, the franchise owner of nine other Zaxby’s restaurants, made the decision after realizing there was one last property in Heritage Towne Centre that faced Raleigh Road Parkway. Visibility from one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares was a main selling point.

"It kind of prompted me to go ahead and pull the trigger,” Little said. "It’s right in the middle of the new growth.”

Little believes Zaxby’s restaurant in Wilson, estimated to open in June or July, may become his most popular destination.

"I’m excited,” Little said. "Very excited. It will do well. All my stores around Wilson do well. I really think it will be the best store I’ve got.

"The demographics in Wilson are perfect for what we sell. Wilson is a thriving community. You’ve got a lot of good stuff going on in Wilson.”

Little purchased franchise rights for the Wilson, Nash and Wayne county markets close to 10 years ago, which gives him the ability to be the only Zaxby’s franchise owner who can open a store in the three-county area. He wanted to open a Zaxby’s in Wilson in 2007 but hit a roadblock after a rezoning request was denied for a Raleigh Road Parkway property next to the Belle Meade subdivision.

Residents voiced concerns about the proximity of the restaurant to the neighborhood, and Little’s rezoning request was denied by the Wilson City Council. He’s continued to look at locations, but it wasn’t until he looked at the Towne Centre property, between Auto Zone and Kurtz Chiropractic Center, that he finalized his decision.

"I’ve looked at other sites around Wilson,” Little said. "I’ve looked up closer to the interstate. I just never had one to ever hit me.”

A site plan for a Zaxby’s restaurant, at 3019 Raleigh Road Parkway, is in the final review stages with the city’s planning department. Little plans to purchase the property and build a 4,139 square-foot restaurant on a 1.69-acre lot. The building will look like his recently opened Zaxby’s restaurant in Wake Forest, he said.

"This store will be identical to the one in Wake Forest,” Little said. "I think it’s a nice-looking building.”

He also owns Zaxby’s restaurants in Clayton, Smithfield, Goldsboro, Rocky Mount, Knightdale, north Raleigh, Durham and Garner and plans to build four more after Wilson.

Construction in Wilson is expected to start in March and should be finished in June. Little said he plans to hire local contractors to do as much of the work as possible.

"Hopefully, we would be able to start construction in early March,” he said. "Hopefully, we’ll be finished by the middle to the end of June.”

About 40 employees, including five managers, will be hired to work in Wilson. A potential general manager was being interviewed in Wilson on Friday. Applicants will be able to apply online or at the Wilson restaurant and all will be hired a month before the business opens.

Zaxby’s will be in the newly developed Heritage Towne Centre along Raleigh Road Parkway and next to the Heritage Crossing shopping center. The 17.45-acre center opened in 2012 with 16 commercial lots, which have so far been filled by Auto Zone and Golden Corral.

rochelle@wilsontimes.com | 265-7818
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View Comments:Show/Hide(22 comments)
@@Reality said...

Reality=Good chicken

Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 8:31 PM
@Reality said...

Reality=delusional.

Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 4:35 PM
Nope said...

Conservatives and Tea Partiers are the REAL hypocrites. Straight up!

Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 4:14 PM
reality said...

Liberals = Hypocrites

Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 9:37 AM
to Lisa Jones said...

Your loss. Me? I'll be enjoying the food . Have fun in your politically correct world.

Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 6:30 PM
Lisa Jones said...

Sadly our family will not eat there. I see that Zaxby's is using Duck Dynasty to advertise for them. We just can't support racists and homophobes. If they pull the ads and apologize we will reconsider since we love the food!

Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 12:55 PM @@Wildtorn said...

Karaoke is for entertainment and fun . everyone is not an American idol finalist. it takes a lot of guts to get up in front of a lot of people and sing or try to sing if you are not a semi professional entertainer. why don't you have the guts to get up and try it? no you would rather sit back and criticize . people like you are what makes this world so negative and depressing.

Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 10:01 AM @Wildtorn said...

I have seen the karaoke show in Rocky Mount on TV, and I think I know which one you are. You are terrible! But I hope you keep singing, its good comedy. By the way, don't quit the day job.

Friday, January 17, 2014 at 12:32 PM @tiny town and others said...

I didn't see where this is big news? It is in the paper letting residents know about a new restaurant. Also chain restaurants locate where they think they can succeed which means good things for our area and a few jobs. It certainly is not bad news.
Also to everyone else, I think all restaurants in town sell chicken, what's your point?

Friday, January 17, 2014 at 9:17 AM said...

Is the new Zaxbys already open? It looks finished in the picture.

Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 8:10 PM Tiny Town said...

its a sad town when chicken is big news

Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 9:17 PM Wildtorn said...

Last night i started biulding a Zasbys out of popcycle sticks on my kichen table. I hav to go back and get some more tonight but it is coming along good. Im going to paint it na everyghin.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 4:53 PM Umm ... said...

Has everyone forgotten that Parker's and Bill's sell chicken?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 11:18 AM Rickster said...

Welcome Zazby's! I will be your first customer. Right now I have to drive all the way to Bojangles on Nash St. or 264, or the KFC down from the hospital to get fried chicken. This location will be much more convenient. Look out Bo! there's a new chicken in town!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 9:23 PM Bizarre said...

I can't imagine going all the way to Goldsboro or Rocky Mount just to eat chicken.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 4:58 PM Great! said...

Great news and welcome! This is a very good thing and a very good story to other potential businesses headed our way. Growth follows growth. Just look at all the known retail businesses we have now vs. 15 years ago. I think some people need to get out more.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 8:22 AM Finally!! said...

I am so happy I can stop going to Goldsboro or Rocky Mount to get a Big Zax Snack! :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 7:33 AM Wiltorn said...

Mr. Zasby Wellcome to wilsin . Glad youve have me. My nam Wildtor an i am a kareooky star in Rocky mound at the Zazby there. I cant weight to sing smoe Hamk Willisms Sr. at your resturant.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 9:30 PM Pretty Marie said...

What's so great about having this restaurant wedged in between an auto garage and a chirporactor?
Do our city officials have zero concept of city planning?

Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:23 PM just wondering said...

I do wish we could get some retail stores back in this town.. I am all for new business, but do they all have to be places to eat? We are so in need of department stores that have stock in them that we want to buy. A nice shoe store (not pricy) would certainly be nice.

Monday, January 13, 2014 at 6:07 PM Excited said...

Welcome to Wilson finally!!!

Monday, January 13, 2014 at 12:43 PM Welcome! said...

Glad to have you.

Monday, January 13, 2014 at 10:59 AM
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