Golden Corral is still coming to the corner formerly occupied by Folk’s Southern Kitchen in Gainesville, with construction possibly starting by the end of February, according to the man bringing the much-awaited buffet to town.
Owner Eric Holm, who is opening his 33rd Golden Corral, said it should be 120 days from the start of construction to the restaurant opening, meaning the restaurant would open no earlier than late June if construction does start later this month.
Holm said opening the restaurant is taking longer than expected because it is a prototype that is only the second of its kind. The first opened in Greensboro, N.C., on Dec. 21, and after seeing some of what has worked and not worked there, changes are being made to the plans for the Gainesville restaurant.
Holm estimated the new Golden Corral should bring about 100 jobs.
Holm has said the prototype is a “scattered buffet” format with the tables and chairs less crowded to make for a “more comfortable dining experience.”
The Golden Corral will be at the corner of Browns Bridge Road and Pearl Nix Parkway, where Folks was open for 34 years.
Gainesville officials said a land development permit was issued Aug. 22. The building/architectural plan was submitted and reviewed in August, and the city is waiting on the architect “to address the comments in order to receive a permit,” according to Gainesville Planning Manager Matt Tate.
The Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board gave its blessing to Golden Corral in June 2016 when the Folks restaurant was still on the property. Folks closed shortly thereafter.
In late 2016, the former Folks was demolished.
Once built, the Golden Corral will be twice the size of Folks.