New Crack in Cracker Barrel Plan

Cracker Barrel wants some goodies from the city

Something else has come up in developer Chris Thieneman’s quest to bring Valley Station residents a new Cracker Barrel, and what eventually happens could escalate or cool off a long-simmering feud with city government.

After years of having his Dixie Highway development plan blocked by neighbors, Thieneman last month finally brought his plan for Cracker Barrel to a successful approval at the Metro Planning Commission. At that point, the only obstacle would be an objection from neighbors, and two promptly filed their intent to protest the approval, setting back the plan for months, or years.

But Thieneman persuaded the neighbors, Viola Strong and Doug Mercer, to drop their protest. So it seemed time to schedule the groundbreaking, right?

Not so fast, my Valley Station friends.

It seems that Cracker Barrel officials got wind that Metro Government would do just about anything to attract a business to the city. Somebody must have sent clips from the Cordish debacle at Fourth Street Live to Nashville. If an overpriced steakhouse can get six-figures, they figure, then a brand-new family dinner spot out on Dixie should merit something.

So Thieneman is on hold again, awaiting the outcome of the city’s economic development team’s talks going on this week.

Of course, Councilman Bob Henderson has reportedly been going around taking credit for bringing the business to Dixie, but the truth is he’s never been a friend of Thieneman and had nothing to do with attracting the new business.

So this week Cracker Barrel officials put everything on hold so they see if the city’s economic development office will ante up some tax incentives or one of those fancy forgivable loans they’re always handing out.