Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 4, 2013

A tasty business boom

Little Caesars is latest food chain headed to Athens

Jeff Riggs
Athens Daily Review

Athens — City of Athens officials — not to mention food fans — are smiling these days.

Recently, four restaurants have committed to set up shop in Athens — the latest of which is Little Caesars pizza, which will be located in the old Super Tans building in Heritage Square on East Tyler Street. Little Caesars joins Pizza Hut, which is being built on East Tyler Street near Walmart, and Mooyah Burger and Yogurt Shop and J.D. Tenders, both on South Palestine Street.

City Administrator Pam Burton said the city has issued building permits for all four.

“We’re really excited,” Burton said. “It’s really a boost for the local economy. This means new jobs, more sales taxes and the city will do more general fund projects.  There’s also more ad valorem on the tax rolls.  I think it’s positive for us. We’re very pleased.”

Athens Interim Mayor Jerry Don Vaught agrees with Burton, saying he, too, is “very excited.”

“Hopefully, this is showing that Athens is starting to prosper a little more, and get out of a slump,” Vaught said. “I don’t believe that Athens has moved as quickly as it could.  That’s one thing I’m wanting as mayor. People are ready for it. This could easily move in developers. I’m so happy the restaurants chose Athens.”

City of Athens Director of Planning and Development Gary Crecelius said new restaurants could bring in other business.

“I’m glad to see any growth coming along,” Crecelius said. “It’s been a while since we have seen this kind of growth in such a short time. It helps what the city collects on sales tax.  It also brings people into town to eat and do other shopping. It has a domino effect.”

Crecelius said the establishment of four new restaurants indicates strong confidence by business owners.

“It shows that the city is in kind of a strong position that people are willing to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Crecelius said. “It shows they have confidence in Athens.”