A new report Saturday indicated a Cracker Barrel restaurant will open in Fresno, which would be the chain’s first eatery in California.
ABC30 posted a story on its website that indicated Cracker Barrel was coming and would open next to Target in the Marketplace at El Paseo center at Herndon Avenue and Highway 99.
No sources were given for the report.
Social media has been abuzz for months with the possibility the popular Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and its restaurant may open in Fresno.
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But, as Bee reporter Bethany Clough reported in February, don’t get too excited yet.
Cracker Barrel’s public relations firm would not confirm the television report Saturday. In an email to The Bee, a representative of the company said: “Thank you for your Cracker Barrel inquiry regarding the Fresno market. We’re always considering opportunities for new locations, but we have no announcements to make at this time about opening a new store in Fresno, CA. I’ll be sure to let you know if that changes any time in the near future.”
The developer of the shopping center, a frequent source for The Bee, hasn’t returned phone calls.
That matters because sometimes shopping centers and developers use names of companies they are talking to, maybe even negotiating lease terms with, but haven’t yet finalized a lease or other deal. And sometimes those deals fall through.
If and when it opens, Cracker Barrel would be a logical fit into the Fresno restaurant scene. The down-home, country-style store and restaurant serving classic American dishes like meatloaf and “chicken n’ dumplins” has locations in more than 40 states.
Back at El Paseo, an Olive Garden, AAA and a few other businesses are being built now. The shopping center also has a second phase of development coming along Golden State Boulevard.
So until Cracker Barrel confirms it plans to come, or the developer does, it’s too early to start dreaming the hash brown casserole for which the chain is known.