BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
Residents of Greene County have one familiar, frequent request -- more "sit-down" restaurants.
Earlier this week, Bennigan's, self-described as a neighborhood restaurant and pub, announced its interest in locating a franchise in Greeneville.
The restaurant advertises "American Fare, Irish Hospitality."
Brixmor Property Group, owner of the Greeneville Commons, and the Bennigan's Franchising Company have announced a partnership to encourage new franchises within Brixmor's shopping centers.
This partnership, according to a news release, will include positioning Bennigan's signs at select existing locations within Brixmor shopping centers and promoting pre-approved restaurant space and franchise opportunities within the company's targeted growth markets.
Financing will be available for qualified candidates, according to the news release.
Greeneville is noted as one of 12 locations targeted for the "initial phase" of the desired expansion.
Greeneville Building Official Jeff Woods noted Wednesday that no one has yet contacted his office concerning building any additions to the Commons area.
He also noted a tract beside Burke's Outlet, on Tusculum Blvd., that he said is the only available space at the Commons of which he is aware.
However, any space within the Commons area would already be properly zoned for such a restaurant, Woods said.
"We have selected a dozen high-potential markets for Bennigan's growth, and currently have 30 approved sites with signage about our unique offering," said Paul Mangiamele, Bennigan's president and CEO in the news release.
"Through this program we've put together a full arsenal of weapons to set franchisees up for the path to success, and intend to revolutionize casual dining by being the first restaurant franchise to provide pre-approved space and financing upfront," Mangiamele continued.
Brixmor is the second-largest owner of community and neighborhood shopping centers in the U.S., with a portfolio of more than 620 properties in 39 states.