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'Burgers by springtime': Piedmont's planned Burger King latest restaurant coming to county's northern end

Calhoun Steakhouse

Jacksonville's Calhoun Steakhouse opened in October. A number of new eateries are planned in Jacksonville and Piedmont.

New restaurants are set to come to Piedmont soon, while Jacksonville recently celebrated the opening of a steakhouse.

Piedmont is set to get a brand-new Burger King, according to Mayor Bill Baker. 

“We’re so excited to have this extra business in Piedmont,” Baker said. “Not only will it be jobs, but it will be extra money for the city too with sales tax. It’s just a win-win for the city, its residents and Burger King.”

The new burger joint will be built next to the Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell along U.S. 278, where an old car wash building now stands, according to Baker. The restaurant is a $1.4 million project, Baker said, and will employ 45 workers after its tentative opening date next spring.

“They said we should be eating burgers by springtime,” Baker said.

Jacksonville recently got another dining option in Calhoun Steakhouse, which opened in October. 

The restaurant, which offers sandwiches, seafood and pasta in addition to steak, opened in a building along Pelham Road that formerly housed a Pizza Hut.

“Not everybody wants steak every day, but it’s always an option,” said Sokratis Kappis, one of the owners of the new restaurant.

Kappis said feedback had been mostly positive so far, and he’d already met some repeat customers of the family-friendly restaurant.

“It’s casual dining,” Kappis said. “It’s a very easy-going atmosphere for families, elderly or even college students. We wanted to bring something that was not sports bar themed or fast food.”

According to Kappis, the restaurant will expand its offerings as it grows.

“Once we get settled in, we’ll offer some more off-menu specials,” Kappis said.

Also set to come to Jacksonville is Heirloom Taco, a “hybrid” taco truck and restaurant in an old fire station along the city’s public square. The restaurant is set to feature a stationary trailer that will offer street tacos, tamales and soups cooked in a larger kitchen inside the building. Stools and tables will be available for seating inside and outside the station on a patio.

“We’re shooting for a Dec. 1 opening,” said Stan Gowen, who will operate the restaurant along with his wife Sandra, son Shane and daughter-in-law Aurelia Ugarte.

The Gowens have been renovating the old fire station for more than a year in an attempt to prepare it for opening to the public.

“It’s super exciting now that we’re getting closer to this point,” Gowen said. “It’s a lot when you have to take an old building like that and get it renovated and compatible.”

Baker said the Burger King was not the only new food option that would be opening soon in Piedmont. A barbecue restaurant is set to open soon, while a pizza restaurant and a bakery are also set to open downtown in the near future.

“We’re very excited. It’ll bring different options and new jobs,” Baker said. “It’s exciting all around.”

Contact Staff Writer Daniel Mayes at 256-235-3561 or danielmayesstar@gmail.com. On Twitter @DMayes_Star.

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