Sparta Krystal eyes October opening
By Amye Anderson
UCBJ Managing Editor
SPARTA – Krystal lovers rejoice – the popular restaurant chain, known for its speedy service, affordable menu options and pint-sized burgers, is coming back to town.
Construction on the restaurant kicked off last Wednesday. But it won’t take long to wrap up the project. That’s because the new Krystal restaurant will be located in the same building that was once home to the previous Krystal location.
Customers should not expect the same old restaurant. The 2,000-square-foot facility will receive several state-of-the-art upgrades including digital interior menu boards, new equipment and LED lighting, and, of course, new furniture.
“We’re doing a full-blown remodel,” John Jones, Chief Operating Officer and partner of the new franchisee team, said. “We’re going to have the shell but everything else will be new.”
Jones said the facelift portion of the project is expected to wrap by Sunday. The restaurant itself was originally projected to open Oct. 9; coincidentally, the same week Krystal will celebrate its 85th birthday. However, the date was bumped to Oct. 16 as of Friday, Sept. 22.
Franchisees Wayne and Carolyn Hale of Chattanooga, originally from Crossville, along with Jones, also from Crossville, are no strangers to the Krystal franchise family. This location will mark their 29th Krystal restaurant location.
“Wayne and Carolyn opened the very first Krystal that was ever franchised – the Crossville, Tennessee location,” Jones said. “Their second location was in Cookeville, Tenn.”
The group also just acquired five restaurant locations in Augusta, Ga., bringing their total to 28 restaurants with Sparta taking the grand total to 29.
The new Sparta location will employ approximately 30 people – with the majority of those positions being full-time. It will also offer made-from-scratch biscuits and fresh-cracked eggs on its breakfast menu; something unique to the franchise locations under the Hale/Jones partnership.
In 2012, the previous Krystal located in Sparta shuttered following an expired franchise agreement that the previous franchisee simply did not renew.
The first Krystal restaurant opened in downtown Chattanooga in 1932 and there are more than 360 company-owned and franchised locations throughout the southeast.
Editor’s note: The original projected opening date has been updated to reflect the latest estimates.