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Businesses rise and fall in Farragut town limits

In 2008 some of the region’s largest grocery stores came to Farragut, as well as other retail giants.

But the year also witnessed Farragut small business owners stepping up, even in economically troubled times.

In January, electronics retail giant Best Buy, whose opening is pictured above right, announced plans it would locate along Parkside Drive in Farragut, prompting Mayor W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III to declare this “one of the most exciting developments taking place in the town of Farragut.”

In April, Mike Master and Bill Johnsons reopened Ott’s Barbecue near the location Ott’s made popular for decades prior to closing its doors in 2003.

May saw a rash of bank robberies targeting Farragut-area banks. Banks along Kingston Pike were robbed by a white male who leaped over the countertops and then fled. Dubbed by farragutpress the “leaping bandit,” the suspect was never caught.

In June, a West Knoxville couple, Virginia and Jeff Cannon, announced plans to open a farmer’s market in Renaissance | Farragut. The market had a successful first year and closed for the season in November. Cannon plans to start the market again in early spring.

Also in June, Farragut residents voiced their frustrations about Knoxville Area Transit’s intention to close the Farragut Express during a Farragut Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting. The Express runs from a park and ride lot off Campbell Station Road to downtown Knoxville. The possible elimination of the bus service was announced to Mayor W. Edward “Eddy” Ford III Friday, June 13.

In July, local restaurateur Randy Burleson (owner of Aubrey’s restaurants) sponsored a referendum on the November ballot to allow liquor by the drink sales in Knox County. Before the referendum, which passed, restaurants outside the City of Knoxville or town of Farragut limits could not sell liquor by the drink unless they were annexed into one of the two municipal limits. Burleson’s Cedar Bluff Aubrey’s location was such a restaurant.

Also in July, Knoxville Transit Authority voted to keep the Farragut Express bus route running. The decision came after Knoxville Area Transit recommended that Express routes be cut in the face of KAT’s tightening budget, and after a move by the town of Farragut to donate $20,000 to keep the Farragut Express alive. Don Sproles, KTA Board chairman, said, “It’s extremely important right now to keep all of our routes running as they were.”

In August, cosmetic giant Sephora announced it would open its second store in Knoxville within a year, this time within JCPenney’s freestanding store under construction in Turkey Creek. JCPenney and its Sephora hub are set to open in March 2009 off the south side of Parkside Drive within Farragut town limits.

In September, farragutpress celebrated its 20th anniversary. Five employees and a prominent owner form the backbone of farragutpress history, combining for 90 years service. Nick Drewry, president of Republic Newspapers, Inc., parent company to farragutpress, led the way in forming the newspaper as publisher in 1988 leading up to the first issue that year on Sept. 13. He was hired by Doug Horne, founder and owner of Republic News-papers, area real estate mogul and native of Blue Grass.

October saw Farragut’s Kroger Market-place opening its doors. Kroger Market-place is the first of its kind in Kroger’s Atlanta division, which consists of a four-state area. The store sells not only groceries but kitchen supplies, furniture and jewelry.

Also in October, Ingles Market opened its largest and newest store, a 93,000-square-foot grocery off Kingston Pike. The site also is home to the I Market, a convenience store and gas station boasting seven gas pumps: six unleaded and one diesel. The Ingles complex includes a four-bay car wash.

In mid October, Village Green residents expressed displeasure with Downtown Farragut plans at the Farragut Municipal Planning Commis-sion meeting Thursday, Oct. 16. Downtown Farragut is set to be built on land adjacent to Town Hall and Kohl’s department store. The mixed use development will include office and retail space as well as residential townhouses and homes.

Downtown Farragut’s main entrance would intersect Kingston Pike across the street from Jamestowne Boulevard, which would have to be narrowed and would have five lanes, three outgoing and two incoming.

Other businesses opening in Turkey Creek during 2008 were Smoky Mountain Brewery, Le Sleep, Gatti’s Pizza, O’Charley’s (which re-opened after extensive renovations), American Piano Gallery, Vlahos Greek Restaurant and The Wild Pineapple.

Businesses that opened in The Myers brothers’ Renaissance | Farragut development included UT Federal Credit Union, Assist-2-Sell, Bella Spazio, Digitize It Now and Tiebreak Sports (both owned by Derek and Cherie Welsh, pictured below), and Mojos Rock Shoppe.

Businesses opening in Farragut town limits included The Shrimp Dock, First Citizen’s Bank, Parkview West, Hibachi Factory, Snappy Tomato, Lovell Animal Hospital, Movements Clocks and Collectibles, Goin’ Postal and Silo Cigars.

Del Mar’s, Family Book Outlet, Dunkin’ Donuts and Captain Ernie’s all opened in the newly constructed Campbell Station Center.

In the Farragut and West Knox County area, businesses opening included Integrity Therapeutic Massage, TD’s Barbecue, Godfather’s Pizza, European Auto Garage, Safety Smart, Fox Fitness, Fitness Pros to Go, Am-erica’s Finest Flooring and Bear Creek Coffee, which will open a second location off Brook-lawn Street in the coming year.

Along with the multiple success stories were numerous businesses falling victim to the pinch of economic struggles not experienced since the Great Depression.


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