Business Pulse – New restaurant chips on the green

If the first week of business is any indication, Kimmi Taylor has found her way to success at McMinnville Country Club.

After five years in business on Spring Street, Kimmi’s Tea Room moved to a much larger facility on the golf course and was renamed Kimmi’s on the Green. Opening day was Monday.

“We wanted to have a soft opening on Monday and ended up serving 150,” Kimmi said. “So far we’ve been really happy with the support.”

Kimmi and her husband Mark said they feel like they’ve reached their peak on Spring Street and are ready for a new challenge. They have it with a facility that has about five times the seating capacity of their old location.

“I was impressed by the number of golfers who came to get something to eat after they finished playing,” Kimmi said. “It’s good to see. We’re open to everyone, so that’s really all the community we’ve seen so far.

Last year, the Country Club changed a longstanding policy and allowed its restaurant to be open to the general public for the first time. This restaurant, Maple Street Grill, lasted about six months before experiencing turbulence.

Kimmi and Mark are planning much more than a six-month stay. And judging by the look of the dining room on Friday afternoon, local residents are eager to try Kimmi’s new and improved menu.

The club sandwich was a treat for the taste buds. So have other sandwiches like the Rueben and the Philly. There is also a wide selection of salads and a dinner menu that includes steak, chicken and fish is not far down the road. Kimmi says that the necessary cooking equipment has been ordered and that she will be able to offer these dinner items as soon as this equipment arrives.

It was a festive atmosphere on Friday, with balloons to celebrate Ila Adcock’s 16th birthday. It was a big week for Ila as she got her driver’s license on Thursday and was able to celebrate at Kimmi’s on the Green on Friday.

In the process of moving, the restaurant grew from a small business that mainly employed family members to a much larger establishment with 11 employees. Kimmi’s on the Green opens at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday and she says she will expand her evening hours when her new equipment allows her to offer a full dinner menu.

I think a golf course needs a great restaurant to really be successful and I think Kimmi’s on the Green fits the bill at McMinnville Country Club. It is located at 618 Country Club Drive and can be reached at (931) 474-CAKE.

A company

Remark

When I started writing this column 22 years ago – yes, 22 years ago – the concept was for people to ask me their business questions and I would track down the answers.

This model has been strong for a number of years, but has recently gone into hibernation for extended periods. In other words, no one asked me any business questions.

I’m happy to say that has changed in recent weeks and the next three articles I’m going to write about are all from questions I’ve received. I would like to thank you for your interest.

What’s with it

Fiesta Rancher A 3?

Erasmo Onate is the father of Mexican restaurants in McMinnville. He opened Fiesta Ranchera nearly 30 years ago at the Plaza Mall. Erasmo also owns the property next to AutoZone where Fiesta Ranchera 3 set up shop for years before closing in late 2021.

I’ve been asked a few times lately what’s going to be there, so I dug. What I found is that I believe a new sports bar is about to open there.

I called Erasmo on Friday and asked him about this development. He said a lease hasn’t been signed, so the deal could fall apart, but he thinks a sports bar type restaurant could happen to this location. He said a lease could be signed in a few days, which could be a positive development for our town, which seems to love dining out.

I will provide more information as it becomes available.

What’s with it

Westwood Market?

Westwood Market has been closed for months and I was told the current owners will not reopen it. The Morrison Street building is currently available for rent if anyone is interested.

The problem, as it was explained to me, is that the convenience store when it was open did not have enough activity without gas. To be more specific, he had a terrible business without gas. I live in these neighborhoods and would rarely see a car parked outside of Westwood Market.

The other problem is that installing gas pumps would be extremely expensive. Talking to a local gas station owner who recently had several pumps installed, the cost of adding gas pumps to Westwood Market would be between $600,000 and $700,000. You have to sell a lot of chips to make this type of investment profitable.

So gas pumps aren’t a realistic option and running the store as a market without gas doesn’t really work either, so it’s now for rent. I think a Starbucks would be great for this location, if anyone asks me.

Westwood Market is on a busy route to WCHS and Hickory Creek when school is in session, so it makes sense to think coffee drinks would fly out the drive-thru window.

Another great option would be a Mexican restaurant!

If anyone would like to lease the building, please contact Jack Patel at (847) 630-9381.

What’s with it

Fast pace?

Some rumors have a grain of truth. Some have just a little truth. And some rumors have no truth.

I was asked last week if I knew anything about our Fast Pace closure on Old Smithville Highway. I hadn’t heard anything about it, largely because Fast Pace isn’t closing and there’s no truth to that statement.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Fast Pace recently underwent a renovation to provide more services to local residents in a better environment. When I stopped on Friday, I was told that all the work had to be done by Monday and that Fast Pace would reopen at that time with its normal hours.

It’s been nine years since Fast Pace opened in McMinnville in July 2013. That’s according to Business Pulse records, which serve as official records for Warren County. Since that time, Fast Pace has been a welcome addition to our healthcare services.

Fast Pace opened its first clinic in Collinwood, Tennessee in October 2009. It has now expanded to five states – Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Indiana – and has 183 facilities with some 2,000 employees.

What Fast Pace lacks is a good media relations department. I tried to get information about new services our local Fast Pace will be offering, but to no avail.

Fast Pace is located at 931 Old Smithville Highway and can be reached by calling (931) 259-4144. If it is an emergency, hang up and call 911.

What about

Old Kimmi

The start of today’s column featured the glorious news of Kimmi’s tea room moving from Spring Street to the Country Club. This creates the question what is going on with the old Kimmi’s location on Spring Street?

Owner Joyce Cooper told me on Friday that there had been some interest but nothing too serious and that there was no signed lease. Joyce says it’s a great retail space in rejuvenated downtown McMinnville and would make a great storefront or small restaurant. There is a commercial triple sink in the kitchen.

A new tenant will need to bring their own ovens and fryers if it’s a restaurant, but Joyce says there’s kitchen space for those items. I think it would be a great place for a cozy pub.

Anyone interested in renting the space can text (615) 830-8593.

That’s all people

It’s been an exciting week for economic news from Warren County. I’ll try to find more interesting information for next week’s column.

If you have a great tip to report, or even a room temperature tip, feel free to email me at [email protected]

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