Ruby Tuesday deal could be finished soon

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 1, 2001

Questions of whether a Ruby Tuesday restaurant will locate in the Tracetown Shopping Center could be answered by the end of the month.

Ted Autterson of J.W. Properties Inc. in Mobile, Ala., which manages the shopping center, said Thursday that negotiations between the property owners and the national restaurant chain are progressing well. &uot;It is pending, but we hope it will close sometime this month,&uot; he said.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation previously agreed to rebuild the intersection near the shopping center entrance if a major business would locate in Tracetown.

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And like city officials, Autterson said he hopes a commitment from a major business like Ruby Tuesday to locate in the shopping center could prompt others to do the same.

&uot;Everything is building on everything else,&uot; Autterson said. &uot;If we make believers out of them, maybe we can re-tenant that shopping center.&uot;

Richard Johnson, Ruby Tuesday senior vice president, said last week his company is still very much interested in Natchez.

&uot;We want to come,&uot; he said. Their plans rest on whether a suitable agreement can be reached with the property owner, he said.

Tommy Jackson, Adams County Health Department manager, said preliminary plans for the restaurant were sent to his department more than a year ago. The state health code requires plans building or renovating a restaurant be approved by the local health department.

Submitted plans must include the intended menu, the anticipated volume of food to be stored, prepared, sold or served, proposed layout of mechanical schematics, construction materials and finish schedules, proposed equipment types and detailed information, written standard operating procedures, proposed training program.

After a series of revisions, Jackson said the plans were approved and are on file at the health department.

Plans call for the restaurant to be built on the site of the old Tracetown McDonald’s, between Britton & Koontz bank and the new McDonald’s.