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Restaurant eyes Jackson property

JACKSON – When one door closes, another always seems to open.

The town of Jackson may become the home of a local, well-known restaurant chain as plans are in the works for Carolina Chicken & BBQ to possibly open at the former Bay Sire Winery, Bistro & Ale House.

At their meeting here last week, the Northampton County Board of Commissioners heard a presentation from Gary Brown, the county’s Economic Development Director. Brown stated that a public hearing needed to be scheduled by the commissioners due to an interest expressed by BM Carolina LLC for participation in the county’s Revolving Fund Loan Program.

That pool of money has been tapped into over the years to assist start-up businesses in the county. Interest is charged on the loan during a pre-determined re-payment to the county.

Brown stated that BM Carolina LLC is the principal of T&T Barbecue LLC and Gold Rock BBQ Inc. with the flagship property branded as Carolina Chicken and Barbecue.

“The company has submitted an application for a program loan in the amount of $140,000,” Brown told the commissioners, adding that the loan would cover a five-year term at a prime interest rate of 3.75 percent.

“The company seeks participation in the (loan) program to finance the acquisition and operation of the property located at 128 West Jefferson Street here in Jackson, formerly the Bay Sire Winery, Bistro & Ale House property,” Brown stated. “Upon acquisition of the property, the company intends to operate a restaurant at that location under the Carolina Chicken and Barbecue brand name.”

Brown noted that the company has plans to invest a minimum of $290,000 and will employ 14 full-time workers and 15 part-time.

“My question is since we already have an outstanding revolving loan on that particular building, is it possible to do a second one,” asked commission chair Fannie Greene, referencing a $140,000 loan approved for Jemma Cox, the owner of Bay Sire Winery, Bistro & Ale House. Cox closed that restaurant in late 2015.

“The intent would be to close that initial loan to Ms. Cox, which will be fully paid out, and then make a second loan on the property,” Brown explained.

He added that Cox has followed the re-payment requirements of the loan and roughly $112,000 remains outstanding.

“Ms. Cox has agreed to this (settle the outstanding debt),” Greene asked.

“Yes,” answered Brown.

The board voted to approve a public hearing at 6:20 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21 – which is their next scheduled public meeting.

Carolina Chicken and Barbecue operates at several locations in northeastern North Carolina and southside Virginia, to include restaurants in Ahoskie and Roanoke Rapids. The restaurant chain is famous for its freshly prepared food at each location and a hearty buffet at lunch and dinner.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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