New restaurants open in Knoxville, managers explain the appeal

New restaurants open in Knoxville, managers explain the appeal

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Chuy's Tex-Mex Restaurant is at 9235 Kingston Pike. Chuy's Tex-Mex Restaurant is at 9235 Kingston Pike.
Cheddar's is at 8390 Kingston Pike. Cheddar's is at 8390 Kingston Pike.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Recent weeks have brought new restaurants opening across Knoxville, especially out west along Kingston Pike.

Chuy's Tex-Mex Restaurant opened its location near Cedar Bluff Road at 11:00 Tuesday morning with a line out the door.

McKenna Nobles, 11, had a day with grandma and lunch at Chuy's. "I wanted to come to Chuy's because I love Mexican food. And we just moved here and we had one in Alabama and I wanted to see if it was as good as it was in Alabama," she said.

Chuy's General Manager Gil Minor says Chuy's chose Knoxville for the funds.

"A lot of economic growth in this part of West Knoxville with the new Kroger and us opening up, and there's a lot of spending out here in this area," Minor said.

The busy area has also attracted Cheddar's Casual Cafe. It's off Gallaher View Road, close to Interstate 40. Cheddars opened Monday and had 1,500 customers in one day.

Cheddar's District Manager Jerry Stewart says it was a better than expected opening.

"We just kept getting requests to come to West Knoxville, come to West Knoxville so we searched and searched for the right piece of property and on the corner of this great busy intersection it's been great so far," he said.

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero says the city is appealing to businesses because it hasn't been hit as hard by the economic downturn.

"Our largest employer in the region is the federal government so we are a little bit more insulated, but still we have suffered so this is a really great sign that the economy is starting to recover," Mayor Rogero said.

She also says the new businesses mean more retail options and more tax revenue for the city. "It also creates revenue that can help build those parks and improve schools and build sidewalks," she explained.

These new businesses also create jobs. Chuy's hired 180 people locally and Cheddar's hired 200 people.

Managers at Cheddar's and Chuy's say Kingston Pike is an ideal location. The Cheddar's manager says the location pulls local customers and those traveling on the interstate.

Both managers say Knoxville's economy appears strong.

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