Two more Whiteville fast food restaurants are moving closer to U.S. 74-76.
Arby’s, a national franchise known for roast beef specialty sandwiches, will soon move to the former Bojangle’s restaurant at U.S. 701 and Smyrna Road. Bojangle’s moved across U.S. 701 to a new facility last year.
“I can’t say exactly when the doors will open, but it will be within the next few months,” said Jennifer Leggett of COC Food Group, Inc. Wesley Campbell of Campbell Oil Co. in Elizabethtown owns the local Arby’s franchise, which opened a combination convenience store/Arby’s in Elizabethtown in 2015.
Leggett said the former Bojangle’s building has “been gutted to the studs and bare walls,” and will undergo a major renovation.
“We’re excited to be putting a lot of work into what will be a nice restaurant,” she said.
The business will employ between 15 and 25 people locally, she said. The current Arby’s, located near the intersection of J.K. Powell Boulevard (U.S. 701 Bypass) and Jefferson Street, will be closed. That property belongs to the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise next door, she said.
“We don’t know what will happen to that property,” Leggett said.
Still another fast food restaurant is expected to make its home in the north Whiteville area in the next year.
Burger King has advertised job openings in a new restaurant that will be built on the northeast corner of the property that once housed the former brick Smith Warehouse, which was previously a tobacco market. Chip Bass, a contact person listed for the Burger King project, did not immediately return requests for information.
The Burger King in South Whiteville reportedly will remain open.
Owners of that property demolished the 200,000 square foot warehouse last year, and obtained zoning changes for a 20-plus acre block of farmland zoned for light industrial and residential-agricultural property at the intersection of Smyrna Road, 701 Bypass and U.S. 74-76. The owners have expressed a desire to work with developers to create a restaurant and retail center on the site, taking advantage of its proximity to the intrastate highway.
The intersection is currently the only completely full service crossroads between Leland and Lumberton offering food, fuel, and lodging to travelers on U.S. 74-76.