Amid a growing sense of security for the future economy, a slate of new chain restaurants and a couple of stores are planned for Dothan, according to development plans and permit requests submitted to the city government’s planning offices.
A new Taco Bell is being constructed along Montgomery Highway on the property of the former Garner Insurance Agency Building across the street from Texas Roadhouse. The Taco Bell will join three others in the Circle City; two are located on the east and west sides of Ross Clark Circle and a third is a joint restaurant with KFC near Publix Groceries on Highway 84 West.
The former Wendy’s building in front of Sam’s Club on Ross Clark Circle will be renovated for Schlotzky’s Deli, which specializes in flatbreads, pizzas, and sandwiches. The building will likely keep the drive-thru feature as Schlotzky’s has recently indicated 99% of future eateries will have a drive-thru.
Bruster’s Ice Cream next to Dothan’s north side Walmart is set to be renovated to become the city’s third Domino's location.
Also, a Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen franchise recently bought the former Burger King property on Ross Clark Circle near Rural King for $925,000, according to Houston County property records. Plans have not been submitted to the city yet to redevelop the building.
Many fast food restaurants and other businesses closed in the last year for various reasons, but the COVID-19-related business shutdowns seemed to have been a clincher for many of Dothan’s restaurants – Zoe’s Mediterranean, Logan’s Roadhouse, Atlanta Bread Company, Wendy’s, Hardee’s, Bruster’s Ice Cream, and more.
However, it seems that many opportunists are capitalizing on the existing now-vacant infrastructure by renovating and moving in and helping Dothan keep its high-ranking spot as one of the nation’s fast food capitals.
According to a 2020 analysis by CBS News, Dothan had 98.7 fast food restaurants per 100,000 residents, making it No. 8 on its list of 50 cities with the most fast food places per capita. The report spotlighted its seven McDonald’s.
Dothan’s love of chain stores doesn’t just extend to restaurants, but to retail as well.
The city is getting a second Bath & Body Works to be located in the Dothan Pavilion and a Discount Tire where the old Bradshaw’s Jewelers building is currently located. The existing building will be demolished, according to Dothan Senior Planner Frank Breaux.
Sable Riley is a Dothan Eagle staff writer and can be reached at email@example.com or 334.712.7915. Support her work and that of other Eagle journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today at dothaneagle.com.