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Cracker Barrel Not Coming to Town

Restaurant and Old Country store respond to rumors

Despite rumors to the contrary, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Restaurant representatives said they do not plan on opening a Toms River location at this time.

Several Toms River Patch visitors have mentioned rumors that a Cracker Barrel could be part of the Dover Mall renovations at Route 166 and Route 37; or could find home in other development projects or vacant anchor sites in Toms River. Many said they'd love to have a Cracker Barrel in town.

But Jeanne Ludington, a spokeswoman at the company’s headquarters in Lebanon, Tenn., said while they're happy to hear of the interest, the rumors are not true.

"We're flattered that people are asking about us, but we don't have any plans on coming to the Jersey shore at this time," she said in a telephone interview. The publicly traded company currently operates more than 590 restaurant and old country stores in 41 states.

All locations are operated by the company and are not available for franchising.  Cracker Barrel has six locations in New Jersey. The closest is about 38 miles from Toms River in Hamilton Township. The trip up I-195 takes about 50 minutes.

Lundington — who is a New Jersey native — said Cracker Barrel's real estate office has made note of requests in the Toms River area before.

"From what I know,  they've already received a number of requests for a restaurant in the area," she said. "In the mean time, it's always nice to be wanted somewhere, especially in this economy."

Following visitor suggestions, Patch has also reached out to Trader Joes, Wegmans, and Whole Foods to find out if their real estate plans involve Toms River stores. We'll have details on their response in the coming days.

Martin April 02, 2011 at 11:15 PM
"...many years ago, when Toms River was thought of as... having no vision of the future." Still true today. Unfortunately, the Patch readers commenting here have far more vision than our township politicians.
Martin April 02, 2011 at 11:25 PM
I'm no fan of Cracker Barrel, but why would Cracker Barrel invest in a mostly run-down highway that's "the bottom of the barrel" thanks to the laissez-faire attitude of TR politicians. A supermarket is a necessity and the other ShopRites are crowded -- but a having meal out in a restaurant is optional. How many dining patrons would come back repeatedly to the depressing environment that's Route 37? A view of dilapidated bldgs. may be OK in a cheap fast-food place, but not very appetizing. Enforce the building code, and fine the slumlords until they fix up or demolish and rebuild.
Julie April 03, 2011 at 04:51 AM
I agree with George, Carol and Martin. Considering I have lived here for almost 28 years, I can recall opting out of looking at Jackson real estate for the reasons that BN mentions. As far as business establishments declining Toms River due to a superfund site, I find that unlikely. The corporate world looks at the possible revenue. I also agree with Louis that it is probable that investors are not interested due to the many roadblocks that the local politicans have established. :-(
Herbert Butler November 16, 2011 at 06:41 AM
Cracker Barrel would help to revitalize the area and economy around Toms River, since the area has the "OLD" usual places like Applebee's, Ruby Tuesdays, and more oriental and Italian places all over, and 7 WaWa's in one area a good change would be nice, even a "Golden Corral", the one at the Shore Mall is always packed, and good food too, "better than country buffet"!
p November 23, 2011 at 08:56 PM
With those chains comes the lovely traffic that goes with it. i.e Brick. lived in Toms River for 30 years and still visit my Mom and Sisters family there. Work there 1 day out of the week too. Why bring in chains when what people should frequent more are the Mom and Pop businesses?

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