TAR HEEL — Folks in the Tar Heel area will soon have another choice when their stomachs start growling for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Land diagonally across from Clark’s Chapel AME Zion Church at the U.S. 87/Tar Heel Road intersection in Tar Heel is being cleared for a Hardee’s Restaurant that will go up this spring. Big Bender, LLC, out of Farmington, Mo., is the new owner of the site, and the group contracted National Restaurant Designers out of Morrisville to design the building.
The plans call for a 2,100-square-foot building with a dining area that will seat 53 people. The restaurant will have a drive-thru and access from both Tar Heel Road and N.C. 87. No outdoor patio or seating area is in the blueprints as of yet.
“This is a big deal for Tar Heel,” Timothy Garner said from across the street as he was watching the land being cleared. “Maybe it’ll be the start of something.”
If so, it will happen soon, as site manager Bill Cox said time is of the essence.
“They’re hot to trot to open before the spring break crowd comes down this road heading to the beach,” said Cox. “They calculated that it was the halfway point between the beach and … well, somewhere, so they’re putting a lot of pressure on us to get the job done before kids get out for the holiday.”
He added, “I travel all over the country doing this kind of work for restaurants, and headquarters usually stays out of it. They’re really involved in this one, trying to move it along.”
On Wednesday, RTC, a general contracting company out of Tennessee and the company with which Cox is superintendent, began clearing trees on the lot and expects to finish that phase this week.
“Once we started clearing, we had everybody in Tar Heel out here — all 142 of them — asking what we were doing,” said Cox. “The rumor was it was going to be a McDonald’s, and everybody came out to see if that rumor was true.”
They quickly found out the Golden Arches will instead be a smiling golden star.
After the trees are cleared, Cox said, he will be bringing in dirt and beginning the process of leveling the land. He expects to begin pouring footers within three weeks and to have the entire project finished and the keys handed over at the beginning of April.
The restaurant is expected to be open mid- to late April.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.