New catfish house planned to be completed by holidays
By By Adam Prestridge
If the construction of the new David's Catfish House goes as scheduled, patrons will be dining in the new building by the holidays.
According to owner Robert Faircloth, construction of the new 6,000 square foot restaurant will begin the middle of August immediately following site preparation, which began last week. It is estimated to hold between 200-220 patrons.
"We've already ordered the main shell of the building and construction on it should begin by mid-August," Faircloth said. "What they are doing right now is getting the site and elevation leveled in preparation to pour the slab."
In early April, Faircloth announced that he was selling his Catfish House to Walgreens, a national pharmacy chain that owns more than 4,000 stores across the nation. Fortunately for David's faithful, the announcement of construction of the new building on a 2.4-acre site just a few blocks south of the current location next to Davidson Lane was also made that same day.
Since the announcement of the new facility, Faircloth said his customers have been anticipating the move.
"Most everything we've heard has been positive," he said. "We've had very little negative reactions. There are a lot of memories here with the Pondarosa. The new location won't spark their memory like this one does."
The new David's Catfish House will look similar to the current location. All of the current furniture, fixtures and memorabilia will be used at the new location.
One of the most noticeable features of the new facility will be the location of the business offices.
"We're planning on constructing a tower over the drive thru that will have offices above it," Faircloth said.
In addition to a brand new building, the new location will also offer customers more convenient parking and easier access entering and exiting the parking lot.
"Hopefully the new facility will be nicer and all the customers will enjoy it," Faircloth said. "We'll have the same food, but a more appealing atmosphere. It will also be easier to get in and out of and much easier to park."
Pee Wee Construction of Atmore is the general contractor over the site preparation and construction of the new David's.
Faircloth is aiming to have minimal down time between closing the old David's location and opening the new one. First projections had the restaurant closed for about two weeks.
"We've got a six month grace period before we have to turn the property over the Walgreens and we feel we're ahead of schedule now," Faircloth said.
The six-month clock begins to tick as soon as all the paper work is signed during the land sale closing, which is scheduled to be complete by the first week of August.
"We plan on being in there before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, that's what we're working toward," Faircloth said.
Geo Tech was in front of the current David's Catfish House Tuesday performing Phase II environmental studies in preparations for Walgreens' land acquisition and construction.
The new Walgreens will be located on the 2.3-acre plot that the current David's Catfish is located on. The site has 360 feet of frontage and is 400 feet deep. It stretches from the David's Catfish House sign next to Dollar General, which is located on the right side of the property, to Barnhills, on the other side.
"They (Walgreens) really build a good looking building and they landscape it well," Faircloth said. "It will really change the landscape here. They have several different tiers of stores and the tier they're building here is a tier 2, which is the next to their largest store."
The Great American Loan building will also be relocated as part of the sale, according to Rob Faircloth.
As for the time being, Faircloth is waiting anxiously for the move.
"We have anxiety about leaving the old building, but we are looking forward to moving to the new building," Faircloth said. "I won't be happy until the doors are open and the building is full of happy customers."