New WifeSaver to replace aging restaurant off Wrightsboro Road

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Chris Cunningham is preparing for his fried-chicken restaurant to cross the road – North Leg Road, to be exact.

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WifeSaver Inc. President Chris Cunningham is planning to build a new restaurant across the street from the current North Leg Road location, which was built in 1976.   SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
WifeSaver Inc. President Chris Cunningham is planning to build a new restaurant across the street from the current North Leg Road location, which was built in 1976.

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.

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countyman
20575
Points
countyman 08/06/13 - 09:18 pm
3
3
Growth all over Richmond County

I'm glad to see the Wrightsboro rd area growing, because the area must keep up with the competition. The Augusta Exchange(Wheeler, Walton Way Extension, Doctors hospital area), North Richmond(Riverwatch, Alexander road in the Village at Riverwatch, Stevens Creek), and other parts of West Augusta(Washington road)

The new growth along Wrightsboro should be able to force somebody to demolish or renovate the Food Lion shopping center, Freds shopping center, and the smaller center near the Forest Hills golf course.The old movie theater in the Augusta West Plaza was purchased, and hopefully it can become a $2-$3 theater.

The best project on Wrightsboro rd is probably the redevelopment of the Wrightsboro/I-520 interchange..

The landscaping in this area definitely needs to be improved. The Augusta mall is the most upscale mall in Georgia outside of metro Atlanta, and deserves the best. The H&M was announced earlier this year, and Michael Kors is suppose to becoming next to Clark's upstairs. The Augusta mall needs to attract a new hotel on the property, and somebody will then renovate/demolish the Savannah Suites.

Little Lamb
46826
Points
Little Lamb 08/06/13 - 11:13 pm
5
0
Aging

Jenna Martin wrote:

Cunningham . . . 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.

Aren’t they all aging?

Edward1968
592
Points
Edward1968 08/07/13 - 08:15 am
1
0
First Wife Saver

Wasn't the first one on Milledgeville Rd.?

Little Lamb
46826
Points
Little Lamb 08/07/13 - 08:20 am
1
1
Landscaping

Countyman posted:

The best project on Wrightsboro rd is probably the redevelopment of the Wrightsboro/I-520 interchange. The landscaping in this area definitely needs to be improved.

What do you want them to do, plant crape myrtles?

countyman
20575
Points
countyman 08/07/13 - 10:25 am
1
1
landscaping

Their going to improve the entire area, and planting flowers wouldn't hurt.

Sweet son
10723
Points
Sweet son 08/07/13 - 12:07 pm
2
1
I'm with Edward. I thought the first Wife save was at the

corner of Milledgeville and Kissingbower Rds. I also think the white house behind it was the Cunningham home place.

LeConteSkier
544
Points
LeConteSkier 08/07/13 - 02:16 pm
1
1
Hopefully the Hwy. 56

Hopefully the Hwy. 56 location is next in line for replacement. They should relocate closer to Hwy.56 and I-520 on the side of the street where Serenity and the DMV is at. I think a sweet investment would be for someone to tear down the old speedway trucks top across the street from the Circle K Bojangles gas station and rebuild a nicer station and either attach Wife Saver to it or build it beside the new development and tie access into the intersection with the traffic light at Serinity with a right turn from hwy. 56 into the station only to keep traffic moving.

Sean Moores
703
Points
Sean Moores 08/07/13 - 02:56 pm
1
0
@ Edward1968 and sweetson

Reporter Jenna Martin contacted WifeSaver president Chris Cunningham, and he said that the Washington Rd location is the oldest.

justthefacts
22674
Points
justthefacts 08/07/13 - 03:29 pm
0
1
Shoot

I think Chris is wrong. But, in any event, I am getting a hankering for some WS Chicken and I am 10 hrs away.

justthefacts
22674
Points
justthefacts 08/07/13 - 03:31 pm
1
0
Wife Saver Web site

Founded in 1965 by George Cunningham, WifeSaver began as a way for George to take care of the mounting medical bills brought on by his son, (and now owner) Chris Cunningham's childhood bout with polio. Built by the Cunninghams and family friend "Hambone", the original WifeSaver on Milledgeville Road stood in the front yard of George's home.

BamaMan
2477
Points
BamaMan 08/07/13 - 03:47 pm
0
1
New Store

Way to go Chris! Hometown boy does good, and not a nicer guy you'll ever meet.

justthefacts
22674
Points
justthefacts 08/07/13 - 03:51 pm
0
1
Bamaman

Yes, I agree, but he don't like Bama!

Pops
10315
Points
Pops 08/07/13 - 05:07 pm
0
1
I read the articles

on the Augusta Archive site and according to them the first one opened on Milledgeville Road in November 1965. The second one opened was located on Washington Road April of 1967. It may have been the first one Mr. Cunningham franchised......

Gage Creed
17849
Points
Gage Creed 08/07/13 - 07:49 pm
0
0
The Milledgeville Road store

The Milledgeville Road store is no longer open and has not been for years... Maybe that's why Chris Cunningham doesn't count that one now?

Dixieman
15865
Points
Dixieman 08/07/13 - 10:09 pm
1
0
Lotsa Monday morning armchair businesspeople posting here

I think these folks know what they are doing. Very successful local business over many decades, delicious food, so I am not going to second-guess them.
And those two KFC franchises couldn't make it? Huh.

By the way, when Dixieman gets to 5000 points I will be selling them on eBay to the highest bidder. Never figured out what they are good for anyway. Anybody know?

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