Owner Brett Hilton, who has worked in the restaurant industry for several years, said he chose the property because of its convenience and visibility.
When Food Lion closed in February, Hilton said, the shopping center didn’t experience much of a drop in traffic.
“The Food Lion really wasn’t bringing that much traffic in by the time they had decided to close,” he said. “I felt like Little Caesars brought more in than Food Lion.”
The restaurant is in space previously occupied by Tao Asian, and Hilton said the property was already in great condition when he acquired it and didn’t take much work to transform it into what he envisioned for his restaurant.
The name of the restaurant came from suggestions when he was thinking of opening a restaurant. At first, he thought about opening a specialty hot dog restaurant and then a poultry-only restaurant.
He settled on an outdoors theme, and combined both ideas to create the Bird Dog Grille.
Hilton has 16 employees.