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Name revealed for eatery that will take the place of old Pepper’s Market
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Construction crews work on the exterior of the new Big Dave's Burgers & Brews restaurant Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, along E.E. Butler Parkway. The new restaurant is located at the former Pepper's Market site. - photo by Scott Rogers

Big Dave’s Burgers & Brews may take the place of the once-iconic, pink-and-green Pepper’s Market on E.E. Butler Parkway in Gainesville.

Construction is well underway on the eatery at 628 E.E. Butler Parkway, between Walton Summit apartments and Church’s Chicken restaurant.

The 5,400-square-foot restaurant facing E.E. Butler will feature a bar, covered porch and an outside patio at the rear of the restaurant, according to a site plan provided by Gainesville officials.

Owner Rick Gailey, who couldn’t be reached for comment, told The Times in November 2020 he couldn’t divulge the name of the restaurant at the time but that it would not be a “chain restaurant and would serve made-to-order burgers and wings along with craft beer and offer outdoor seating.”

Pepper’s, beloved by some while an eyesore to others, had long been the subject of dispute between the city and Gailey. 

Gailey painted the store pink in 2007 amid an argument with officials over code enforcement. More recently, the city had threatened to use eminent domain to take over the property next to Walton Summit, the housing development that replaced Green Hunter Homes on Atlanta Street in 2018.

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Peppers Market, at 628 E.E. Butler Parkway in Gainesville, pictured in April 2020. - photo by Scott Rogers

The Gainesville City Council vote on using eminent domain had been tabled repeatedly in 2020. Gailey said work had been going on to reach an agreement on the property that would satisfy both he and the city.

"We've been working on a lot of stuff with the city behind the scenes,” Gailey said in 2020, “and they're very excited about it, and I am, too, so we've just got to proceed on and get rolling."

01112022 BUTLER 3.jpg
Construction crews work Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, on the exterior of the new Big Dave's Burgers & Brews restaurant along E.E. Butler Parkway. The new restaurant is located at the former Pepper's Market site. - photo by Scott Rogers
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Construction crews work on the exterior of the new Big Dave's Burgers & Brews restaurant exterior Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, along E.E. Butler Parkway. The new restaurant is located at the former Pepper's Market site. - photo by Scott Rogers