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Cracker Barrel: Bring It!

swanUpdate: There are more than 2000 fans on the Facebook petition page; run over and sign up after you read this! Link can be found in the story.

Everyone knows there is a new (-ish) QT located east of town by the Will Rogers Turnpike gate. What everyone does not know is that there are 32 acres of available land surrounding the store, and the owners are anxious to sell it, to those who will benefit our area.

Cathey and Rick Swan own the land, and they have put a lot of time, love and effort into ensuring that it was properly prepped for development. Even before QuikTrip expressed interest in the area, the Swans made sure that a hydrology study was done to make sure the land around the entire site wouldn’t be flooded as a result of the work. All of the proper steps have been taken and documents filed with the City of Claremore. When the QT was built, there were no utilities on the property at the time, so a public works agreement was made with the city to have ample utilities supplied to both QT and the rest of the site for future development.

cracker barrel logoNow the Swans are ready to rock.¬†Their goal is to sell a portion of the property to one of America’s most beloved chain restaurants: Cracker Barrel (or as I call it, the place to play the golf tee game and eat hash brown casserole).

Think of it: travelers are traipsing east to west, and west to east, up and down the Will Rogers Turnpike. Where is there to stop and eat, other than QT, that is visible from the highway? Obviously, a driver could head into town, but if one is in a hurry, that doesn’t happen. Travelers are seeking easy on/easy off access from the turnpike. They can get a tank of gas and use the restroom at QT, but family-style restaurant options are limited.

Cracker Barrel just might be the answer.

The Swans have been in contact with Cracker Barrel’s corporate office since last fall. Please note that Cracker Barrels are NOT franchises, so all decisions are made by corporate in Lebanon, Tennessee. The Swans need to prove that there is a significant interest in building a new restaurant in Claremore. If you’d like to help and see what we can do to make this dream a reality, please join the Swans’ Facebook group: Bring Cracker Barrel to Claremore, OK. A staggering number of Facebook fans showing interest might be just the ticket to make this happen.

Cracker Barrel is just the beginning. According to the site plans prepared by the Swans (I told you they were ready), there is also available space for a hotel and a few retail stores. Why not work on growing our town toward the east? It would gain traffic from the turnpike, as well as draw from racino visitors, not to mention the locals.

Fun facts: 44,000 vehicles pass by that area on the Will Rogers Turnpike EVERY DAY. 10,000 pass through the toll booth, and 18,000 pass in front of QT on Highway 20. That’s got to be enough traffic to spark interest in the powers-that-be up in Lebanon.

If you would like to know more about this potential project, please email Rick Swan at rc.swan@hotmail.com.

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