Plans for Cracker Barrel at Salisbury mall derailed

After years of trying to open in Salisbury, and despite having all necessary permits, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has hit another snag.

The popular restaurant and gift shop planned to build in the parking lot in front of the former J.C. Penney at The Centre at Salisbury, but an anchor tenant vetoed the plan, according to Mayor Jake Day.

Anchor stores in the mall, managed by Rouse Properties, have a provision in their leases granting veto power, Day told the Salisbury Independent Monday night.

He said he spoke to the director of real estate for the restaurant, which has 630 stores in 42 states, and was told vetoing is not unusual in larger shopping malls.

Day said his understanding is the tenant, who he wouldn’t name, is concerned Cracker Barrel will block visibility of the retail store.

“It’s as alive as it’s ever been. It has 100 percent approval from the city government. But, the anchor tenants have the ability to veto something from happening. They have all the clout,” Day said.

“It’s taken 10 years to get to the point where there is an agreement on a piece of property … and they finally have it,” the mayor said about Cracker Barrel.

“They met all the requirements. They did everything. They acquired it and did everything they had to do. So, to end up in this place, it’s momentarily stalled.

“They are still trying to come to Salisbury … (but) this may not be the property,” he said.

Neither Cracker Barrel nor Rouse Properties officials could be reached for comment.

Cracker Barrel was founded by Dan W. Evins, who opened the first store in 1969 in Lebanon, Tenn.

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