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Chain restaurant to replace historic building in Evans

Monday, March 10, 2014 5:07 PM
Last updated Tuesday, March 11, 2014 8:26 AM
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A corner lot in Evans currently home to a historic landmark will soon look different as construction of a fast-casual chain restaurant takes shape, though the old building’s fate remains unknown.

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The small, white stone building on the corner of North Belair and Washington roads, which once served as a teachers’ dormitory and later a gift shop, will be replaced with the state’s first PDQ, a Tampa, Fla.-based chain that specializes in chicken tenders.

Plans are underway for PDQ, or People Dedicated to Quality, to purchase the property in the next few weeks, with an estimated opening this summer, spokesman Jeff Kamis said.

“It’s a great area,” Kamis said of the busy commercial intersection. “We know there’s a lot of development.”

Though the structure is now on a bustling retail corridor and gateway into Evans, it was formerly a teachers’ cottage for the old Evans School that sat across Washington Road on the current Home Depot site. The building dates back to the 1920s, said Billy Jackson Jr., a member of a committee formed last year to save the building. The committee is scrambling to find a way to move the structure to the old Columbia Middle School property on Columbia Road.

“If we can’t get it moved within a reasonable length of time, then it’ll be destroyed,” said Jackson, adding that time probably will run out within the next two to three weeks.

Jackson and Donna Anderson, daughter of the property owner, said the main issue they face is finding a moving contractor that can undertake the job.

Anderson’s mother, Rachel Robertson, ran Strictly Country out of the building for 25 years until she retired and closed it in 2012.

At the very least, Anderson said, she’d like to save the original stone from the building and its fireplace, as was done with the old stone columns and arch that belonged to the Evans School. Those pieces were installed behind the Columbia County Library.

Costs to move the old building could run from $125,000 to $150,000, said Jackson, who added that more funding would be necessary to maintain the structure. A Columbia County Commission financial donation and money leftover from moving the columns and arch could be used to assist with the project, he said.

“We need to be good stewards of those buildings and history,” said Jackson, whose father, state Sen. Bill Jackson, is also on the committee. “The way our county is growing, we can outrun history real quick.”

PDQ is willing to incur costs associated with moving the building.

“We’ll do everything we can to work with them in regard to that because we do know how important that building is,” Kamis said.

The Columbia County restaurant will be the 22nd in the Southeast for PDQ, which opened its first business in late 2011 in Tampa. The first PDQ in South Carolina opened last weekend in Columbia, Kamis said.

The 4,300-square-foot restaurant will serve sandwiches, salads and hand-spun milkshakes in addition to chicken meals.

The restaurant will add about 75 employees and include a drive-through window, an indoor dining section and either sunroom or outdoor patio seating.

Comments (16) Add comment
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soapy_725
43965
Points
soapy_725 03/10/14 - 06:38 pm
1
0
another part of CC history falls victim to a fried chicken stand
Unpublished

another part of CC history falls victim to a fried chicken stand

soapy_725
43965
Points
soapy_725 03/10/14 - 06:39 pm
1
0
so much for the "Evans Master Plan" vs. quick $$ for politicos
Unpublished

so much for the "Evans Master Plan" vs. quick $$ for politicos

soapy_725
43965
Points
soapy_725 03/10/14 - 06:40 pm
1
0
Evans First Baptist will be next victim to "progress" and $$$$
Unpublished

Evans First Baptist will be next victim to "progress" and $$$$

Butterman
3696
Points
Butterman 03/10/14 - 06:43 pm
5
3
Chain Chain Chain
Unpublished

Chain of fools. They sho be lovin they chains up in Columbia County

raul
5544
Points
raul 03/10/14 - 09:32 pm
8
3
Oh goody, another chain

Oh goody, another chain restaurant.

triscuit
3223
Points
triscuit 03/10/14 - 11:27 pm
7
2
Because Lord knows we need

Because Lord knows we need another Chicken Finger joint. How did I ever survive my childhood actually having to eat chicken with, gasp...bones in it!

Little Lamb
48049
Points
Little Lamb 03/11/14 - 07:25 am
2
2
Chicken

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. You just can't get fried chicken in Evans, so PDQ is filling the void.

matjoe
30
Points
matjoe 03/11/14 - 07:25 am
4
3
How is it justified that a

How is it justified that a privately owned structure will be placed on county owned land? Who will be responsible to pay to upkeep the building over the years?

FoxRox
13
Points
FoxRox 03/11/14 - 07:26 am
4
2
Give them a chance..

If this company is willing to help with the moving, and consider the building's historical importance, then they should be welcomed and we should support them. A private room inside PDQ would be most welcome to area clubs who meet regularly. I say PDQ should step in PDQ!

mll
828
Points
mll 03/11/14 - 08:33 am
3
2
Another fast food

I'm sure that PDQ payed a cool million or so for the piece of land....can't the property owner pay to have it moved? Then they can donate it to the county. Unless that happens the building should be salvaged & pieces kept for a museum or whatever.

playlikethunder
88
Points
playlikethunder 03/11/14 - 09:04 am
0
0
I AGREE...ANOTHER FAST FOOD,
Unpublished

I AGREE...ANOTHER FAST FOOD, HIGH CALORIE ,TASTELESS MENU REST. IS WHAT WE NEED, NOT TO MENTION THE ADDED FRUSTRATION OF PEOPLE TRYING TO KILL THEMSELVES IN TRAFFIC TO GET IN AND OUT OF THE PLACE...I SAY CAN THE IDEA AND WORK , LEAVE THEBUILDING ALONE, IT'S EARNED IT'S PLACE.

raul
5544
Points
raul 03/11/14 - 09:39 am
0
1
I wonder if they will have

I wonder if they will have the Lewis Grizzard Boneless Chicken Special?

ralphinga
1649
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ralphinga 03/11/14 - 09:52 am
3
1
Historic ????

1920's structure is historic? Somebody wants to "save" it using public money. That's not historic. It is ridiculous. Not as if Woodrow Wilson or his son-in-law was born in that building. Catch a clue, you want to save it, buy it or move it with your own money.

ralphinga
1649
Points
ralphinga 03/11/14 - 09:57 am
2
1
Historic ????

1920's structure is historic? Somebody wants to "save" it using public money. That's not historic. It is ridiculous. Not as if Woodrow Wilson or his son-in-law was born in that building. Catch a clue, you want to save it, buy it or move it with your own money.
Somehow this comment got duplicated, just like the "need" for public funds for pet projects.

GodisSoGood
1017
Points
GodisSoGood 03/11/14 - 10:12 am
1
1
And there sits an empty

And there sits an empty chicken building on Washington Road, former home of KFC....

augustahistorybuff
49
Points
augustahistorybuff 03/11/14 - 10:20 am
0
1
Not getting my business

No way I'll be a patron at this restaurant!

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 03/11/14 - 11:17 am
2
1
ralphinga, the historical

ralphinga, the historical reference has more to do with what the building was used for and because it was a part of the old Evans High School than the date of the building itself. It was a part of Evan's history and hopefully can be preserved.

BamaMan
2637
Points
BamaMan 03/11/14 - 11:54 am
0
1
Ditto

Just what we need, another chicken place, cause we don't have any out there!! :) If I were a betting man, my money would be on this place not making it, at least in that location. Something else would've been better. We'll see, but I bet it doesn't make it.

Marinerman1
5320
Points
Marinerman1 03/11/14 - 12:09 pm
1
1
@ralphinga

I'm in total agreement with ICL. The building is historic for Columbia County, and the Board of Education. If it gets moved to the old Columbia Middle School property, that is the new home of the Board of Education Maintenance Department -- it will be well taken care of. Don't worry your little head. The fact that PDQ is willing to help with the preservation, seals the fact that I'll give them some business !!

Gage Creed
18929
Points
Gage Creed 03/11/14 - 05:42 pm
1
0
I do believe I'll look into

I do believe I'll look into raising a flock of those boneless chickens... There seems to be quite a demand.

Shadow8161
27
Points
Shadow8161 03/12/14 - 06:49 am
0
0
That's exactly what we need, another chain of processed crap.

I am so tired of these chain restaurants. Serving loads of processed and seasoned garbage. We need to get back to some of the old basics and the basic real foods. It Kills me also to ride down Belair, where the old High/Jr High was. We could ride our bikes down the road and see a car every so often, when we would cut across 2 lane Washington rd over to Roundtree's to hang out in front under the big oak trees. Life was great!

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