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Golden Corral is finally opening. Here’s why it took so long and what it will offer
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Terry Sandridge, left, and Russ Lasmono, kitchen manager at Golden Corral, work to prepare the restaurant for opening on Thursday, March 7, 2019. The restaurant is set to open on Monday, March 11, 2019. - photo by Austin Steele

The wait is over: The new Golden Corral in Gainesville will hold its soft opening Monday, March 11.

The new restaurant is at 1450 Browns Bridge Road in Gainesville Towne Center.

The first announcement for the new restaurant dates back to May 2016 when it was proposed to take over the old site of the Folks restaurant, which was torn down after 34 years of business.

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Golden Corral is seen under construction Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, at the intersection of Pearl Nix and Jesse Jewell parkways. The long-awaited restaurant will open on March 11. - photo by Scott Rogers
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Golden Corral is set to open on Monday, March 11, 2019. - photo by Austin Steele

Since construction started in late August 2018, the opening date of the restaurant was postponed repeatedly.

Wayne Simmons, area director of Metro Corral Partners LLC, said the multiple changes in schedule were due to the franchise’s owner, Eric Holm, adding upgrades to the building and construction delays from the relentless rains.

Simmons said the nearly 10,500-square-foot restaurant has an occupancy of 424 people and will embody the franchise’s new design.

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Terry Sandridge, left, and Russ Lasmono, kitchen manager at Golden Corral, work to prepare the restaurant for opening on Thursday, March 7, 2019. The restaurant is set to open on Monday, March 11, 2019. - photo by Austin Steele

He said this prototype includes larger round tables and a double-sided electric fireplace to give off a “cozy feel.” The business will additionally have local flare with signs specific to Gainesville and the origins of the restaurant.

“This is the newest evolution of our dining experience,” Holm said. “I think you’ll find it comfortable, and a very relaxing atmosphere.”

Holm said people can expect the same buffet approach and a grill concept, which entails chefs cooking steak and other dishes in front of the customers.

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Golden Corral is set to open on Monday, March 11, 2019. - photo by Austin Steele

He describes the style as “an upscale buffet that everyone will love.”

People can grab breakfast at the restaurant from 7:30-11 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Its hours are from 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

Holm said he was inspired to open a Golden Corral in Gainesville because of his friend Simmons’ influence.

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Russ Lasmono, kitchen manager at Golden Corral, sets up chairs on Thursday, March 7, 2019. The restaurant is set to open on Monday, March 11, 2019. - photo by Austin Steele

“It’s a great area,” Simmons said. “I live in the area and I’ve been after Eric to come to Gainesville for a while.”

The new Golden Corral will take on more than 100 employees, and is still accepting applications. People can apply to the restaurant by visiting goldencorraljobs.com or by visiting the Gainesville location.

Golden Corral opening

When: 10:45 a.m. Monday, March 11

Where: 1450 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville

Hours: 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

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