June 15, 2006--Posted at 3:45 p.m. CDT
Jonesboro, AR--Baby Back Ribs, Awesome Blossom and Old Timer Burgers are just a sampling of what is available to restaurant patrons at Chili's. Thursday at 10:45 a.m., the doors opened and the tables quickly filled for Jonesboro's newest restaurant. Chili's has over 1300 restaurant nationwide, but the one in Jonesboro is catered to Region 8.
"There are no other stores like it in the United States. They custom designed our store," said Manager Kiplan Welsch.
Unlike other Chili's, this location doesn't have a bar area. Something the manager doesn't feel will hurt business.
"We felt that the pull from the surrounding counties was going to be so great that it would be no problem supporting a restaurant of this size," said Welsch.
While some other local restaurant franchises have applied for liquor licenses, this Chili's franchise is one of two in the country that doesn't serve alcohol.
"As of right now we are strictly non-alcoholic. As we progress and see how the environment is in the town and basically what our guests want is how we will base it on," said Welsch.
A couple of years ago, an attempt was made to bring Chili's to Jonesboro. The franchise was scared off of a dry town. Now in 2006, the franchise feels it is just too good of a market to pass up on.
"Since then we have built the first non-alcoholic store in the company and that was at our Conway location. It has been very successful, so they said lets build another store without a bar because of the success," said Welsch.
Chili's management say their establishment will add a unique flavor to the local restaurant landscape. The restaurant will stay open during the week until 10:30 and 11:30 on the weekends.
"We did notice that some of the other chains close earlier. We wanted an option for those who dine later to be able to come in," said Welsch.