Chris Cunningham is preparing for his fried-chicken restaurant to cross the road – North Leg Road, to be exact.
Cunningham, the president of WifeSaver Inc., has a contract to purchase a vacant corner lot at North Leg and Sibley roads to replace an aging WifeSaver restaurant just up the street at the Wrightsboro Road intersection.
“The people in that area deserve a new store, so we’re going to make the investment,” Cunningham said.
If plans progress as anticipated, Cunningham said, he hopes to start work within 45 days on a 4,000-square-foot WifeSaver following a modern concept modeled after the Grovetown and Furys Ferry Road restaurants. He is awaiting permit approvals through Augusta’s planning and development departments.
The building, which could accommodate about 100 diners, likely will take six months to nine months to finish, Cunningham said.
“We’re going to shoot for Masters, but that’s kind of optimistic,” he said of next April’s tournament.
The current WifeSaver off Wrightsboro Road opened in 1976 and has needed renovations and additional parking space for years, Cunningham said.
With a new Wal-Mart Supercenter coming behind the restaurant, Cunningham said, the time was right to sell his property. On July 1, he sold the half-acre parcel to I-20 Investors LLC for $690,000, according to the warranty deed filed in Richmond County Clerk of Court.
That same company owns six acres where the future Wal-Mart in under construction.
Cunningham said he was uncertain of plans for the property. An attempt to reach Wal-Mart representatives Tuesday was not successful.
“Wal-Mart coming in kind of pushed the envelope,” Cunningham said. “We’ve been thinking about it for a long time, trying to put something together on that corner. The store has needed remodeling for a while, so it was time and it worked out good for everybody involved.”
The WifeSaver open there now will remain in service until the new restaurant is completed.
Eight independently owned WifeSaver franchises are operated locally. The first opened on Washington Road in 1965, and the newest WifeSaver opened in April at 5123 Wrightsboro Road in Grovetown.