Cracker Barrel is not coming to Fresno after all, the Fresno Bee has confirmed.
The highly anticipated restaurant chain with a retail store had signed a lease to open a location in Marketplace at El Paseo near Highway 99 and Herndon Avenue.
The shopping center’s website had the restaurant listed as “coming soon” until recently, when Cracker Barrel’s name was removed.
Two other sources confirmed for The Bee that the restaurant is not coming to Fresno.
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A spokeswoman for Tennessee-based Cracker Barrel declined to comment about a Fresno location and the developer of the shopping center also declined to comment.
It’s highly unusual for restaurants to back out after signing a lease. However, they often have a 30- to 90-day “out clauses” they can use, usually because some of the agreed-upon plans did not pan out.
Cracker Barrel still is planning to open a location in California. The chain’s first restaurant in the state will open in 2018 in Victorville, said Breeanna Straessle, Cracker Barrel’s manager of corporate communications.
“We’re definitely coming to the state,” she said. “That’s going to be our first entrance.”
Panera Bread still plans to open at Marketplace at El Paseo.