Cook Out Restaurants is expanding in Hall County, adding an Oakwood location that also will serve as a regional payroll operation.
Construction is well underway on the 5,000-square-foot building off Mundy Mill Road, west of Frontage Road and Interstate 985.
“We’re excited about coming (to Oakwood). I like that location,” said Jeremy Reaves, who, along with his father, Morris Reaves, are the North Carolina-based owners. “You have a lot of growth going on there, so it’s neat.”
The project involves conversion of a former, longtime bank known for its white clapboard exterior and brick chimney.
“They had to do a lot of renovation, right down to the shell,” City Manager Stan Brown said of the work. “It will be obvious that (it has) a red roof. Basically, that’s sort of their trademark.”
The work doesn’t pose any particular challenges, though, Jeremy Reaves said.
“We’ve remodeled banks before,” he said.
He said there was initial talk that the restaurant, which could open Sept. 1, also would serve as a regional patty-making operation for the chain.
“We’re thinking (now) about doing something in Morrow,” Reaves said. “That’s real close to (Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International) Airport, so it would be easier for us.”
Cook Out, which was founded in the late 1980s in Greensboro, N.C., will employ about 35 people at the Oakwood site — 25 in the restaurant and 10 in payroll, Reaves said.
The Oakwood restaurant will be the chain’s 20th location in Georgia.
The chain also operates in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Maryland.
Cook Out’s first entry in Hall County was a restaurant off Jesse Jewell Parkway south of Ga. 53/John W. Morrow Jr. Parkway.
The new Cook Out is part of a fast-food restaurant boom in Oakwood, with nearby McDonald’s and Burger King getting makeovers and construction of a new Hardee’s, Taco Bell and Steak ’n Shake over the past few years.
“I think it’ll fit right in,” Brown said.
Other construction is happening nearby, as well, including a new Milton Martin Toyota dealership, and completion of Northeast Georgia Health System’s Corporate Plaza, which houses 350-plus support services employees.