Cracker Barrel closes after 19 years

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Cracker Barrel closes after 19 years

BY PETER HULL<br>THE ISLAND PACKET
Published Wednesday, February 22, 2006 in The Island Packet  |  380 Words  |  /IslandPacket/news/local

Another Hilton Head Island restaurant bites the dust.'
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store near the Mall at Shelter Cove closed its doors for the last time Monday evening after 19 years on the island.'
The restaurant, which opened in 1987, employed 95 people. '
All employees, regardless of how long they worked at the restaurant, will receive a separation package, said Jim Taylor, spokesman for owners CBRL Group Inc. The Lebanon, Tenn.-based company owns 535 Cracker Barrel restaurants nationwide.'
The future of the restaurant's prime midisland site was not determined Tuesday.'
In addition to severance pay, Cracker Barrel has sent two members of the company's human resources staff to the island to help former employees here find a new job, either within the company or locally if they do not wish to move, Taylor said.'
The company closed seven restaurants from Minnesota to Georgia, with Hilton Head the only Cracker Barrel closed in South Carolina. The restaurants were closed because they were not making enough money, Taylor said, and as a publicly traded company, CBRL has an obligation to its shareholders.'
"Every location was closed because it was not meeting its financial expectations," Taylor said.'
Cracker Barrel is the latest island restaurant to close.'
Hofbrauhaus on Pope Avenue and Fitzgerald's on South Forest Beach Drive, both south-island mainstays for the past 30 years, closed just after Thanksgiving last year. Fratello's off William Hilton Parkway also closed last year.'
Before this week, Taylor said, CBRL has closed only nine restaurants in its 36-year history -- and one of those was because of a tornado.'
Each Cracker Barrel restaurant and retail store is modeled after a 1900-era country store, featuring old photographs, antiques and a wood-burning fireplace. Restaurants typically are located along interstates, with 12 at tourist destinations.'
The company also owns Nashville, Tenn.-based Logan's Roadhouse, 131 company-owned and 24 franchised restaurants in 20 states.'
On Tuesday, CBRL announced second-quarter net income of $30.8 million for the fiscal period ending Jan. 27, compared with $32.6 million for the same period a year earlier -- a 5 percent drop.'
In trading Tuesday, the company's share price (NASDAQ: CBRL) climbed 6 cents, or 0.14 percent, to close at $44.34.