Cracker Barrel has nixed plans to restore the building that once housed the original Tennessee location.
The store, which opened in Lebanon in 1969, was moved to the local fairgrounds in July 2019, with the intention of restoring the building and moving it to the nearby Fiddlers Grove Historic Village. But now Cracker Barrel, along with officials in Wilson County and the Fiddlers Grove Foundation, have decided the plan would be “cost prohibitive and ultimately unsuccessful” due to the building’s deteriorated condition, per a press release.
All hope isn’t lost for Cracker Barrel historians, however. The new plan, as laid out in the press release, is to salvage portions of the restaurant for a future exhibit, which may or may not open “in connection with a Cracker Barrel restaurant.”
Other keepsakes from the restaurant will be moved to the Cracker Barrel headquarters in Lebanon.
“Cracker Barrel is a great company, a great corporate citizen and an integral part of Wilson County, and we are so happy that the building will eventually be incorporated into an even better and more meaningful project that celebrates this heritage,” Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said, per the release. “We are looking forward to supporting this new project in any way we can.”
Meanwhile, Cracker Barrel, which has not owned the building for more than 30 years, will foot the bill for the building’s decommissioning and storage.
Danny Evins, the founder of Cracker Barrel, opened his first shop in Lebanon in 1969 as a gas station, eatery, and gift shop. It closed around 1984.
Cracker Barrel now operates 660 company-owned locations.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.