A longtime Gainesville restaurant is being leveled to make way for a Golden Corral at the corner of Browns Bridge Road and Pearl Nix Parkway.
Demolition was underway Thursday at the 5,219-square-foot Folks Southern Kitchen. Golden Corral received approval to build an 11,000-square-foot restaurant on the property from the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board on June 14.
Folks closed its doors for the final time shortly thereafter and posted a message on its sign thanking Gainesville for 34 years.
As of late Thursday afternoon, only the building’s frame, roof and part of the sign remained of Folks. It’s unclear when Golden Corral will begin work on building its restaurant after the demolition.
The Golden Corral received approval over the protests of neighboring businesses at the June meeting.
Project designer and applicant Bryan Day received the OK for dropping the number of parking spots from 88 to 25. Day’s proposal said “the remaining spaces will be shared parking spaces within the adjacent shopping center,” Gainesville Towne Shopping Center.
Scott Hunter, property manager for Sterling Organization that owns the shopping center, didn’t like that arrangement.
He told the board that, as part of mortgage refinancing, “we’ve been told we’re actually 46 spaces below the current requirement for parking, so we already have a shortage of parking.”
Golden Corral, which serves buffet-style food, was also opposed by similar restaurants in the shopping center, Hibachi Buffet and Stevi B’s Pizza Buffet, who said Golden Corral could hurt their bottom lines.
News reporter Jeff Gill contributed to this report.