Garner Cleveland Record

Three new restaurants to accompany Cabela’s at White Oak

A Five Guys Burgers and Fries, City Barbeque and Longhorn Steakhouse will all make their way to the White Oak area, making them the latest additions of restaurants that will accompany Cabela’s in the spring of 2015, the town announced last week.

Carolina Ale House was the first restaurant announced in August. It will occupy the corner parcel adjoining the I-40 intersection with U.S. 70. A Drury Inn Hotel will also accompany the businesses.

Rich Barta, president of developer Core Properties, which is developing the White Oak site, said he believes each business is the best in its class.

Longhorn Steakhouse will be on an outparcel next to Carolina Ale House – when it is built in March – fronting U.S. 70 westbound. The company has about a dozen North Carolina locations including Brier Creek in Raleigh and Beaver Creek Commons in Apex.

City Barbeque, an Ohio-based restaurant chain, will locate in one of the two multi-tenant buildings along Cabela’s Drive on that same northeast quadrant. The company currently has one North Carolina restaurant located in Cary.

Five Guys, a popular D.C.-area-based burger chain, will also locate in one of the two multi-tenant buildings along Cabela’s Drive, in the same northeast quadrant. Five Guys Burgers and Fries is the only franchise restaurant of the three, and is owned by Michael Ruffer of Ruff Guys Holdings LLC. He owns about a dozen Five Guys Restaurants in the Triangle.

“They are great at what they do,” Barta said of all three restaurants. “We felt like they were a great fit with Cabela’s and they will thrive in Garner in the White Oak area.”

Efforts to reach Ruffer were unsuccessful.

Barta said it typically takes about six to 12 months to close a deal with a company wanting to develop in the area. He said there’s always a worry that someone could back out at the last minute but he thinks the attraction of Cabela’s and the existing base of retail and activity in the White Oak area is what sealed the deal.

Cabela’s, an outdoors mega-store – expected to open in April – will potentially put 3.6 million people in White Oak’s market, given the lengths people will drive to the chain. It will be the first Cabela’s in the state.

Core Properties is also negotiating on some northwest quadrant properites. Planned investment in the two tracts is estimated at $80 million, expanding Garner’s tax base and drawing retail and restaurant jobs.

Core also intends to eventually develop an even larger tract of land, about 300 acres, across White Oak Road from the current shopping center south of U.S. 70.

The investment reflects existing residential growth and heralds more to come for a town situated closer to downtown Raleigh than much of north Raleigh.

Barta said the vision for White Oak hasn’t really changed from when it was originally proposed for Garner 15 years ago. However, the approach has. Barta said the White Oak development will take some time.

“We want to make sure we don’t go so fast the we go below the quality bar we are setting,” he said. “The other thing is to be mindful of the change in the economy and change in retail landscape. We think going a little slower is a smarter strategy. And will produce a better result for Garner and for us, and for the retailers that are coming.”

The target opening for the restaurants is around the middle of next year. The restaurants will open at different times.