Three additions to the area's menu of national chain restaurant offerings have recently opened or will be opening soon in Columbia County.
Evans residents Sean and Amy Anderson said they wanted to bring something a little different to the area when they chose to open a Great Wraps restaurant.
"There are not many places around here to find a wrapped sandwich," Amy Anderson said.
Great Wraps features freshly wrapped sandwiches that are grilled to order, curly fries, salads and smoothies. The new eatery is in one of the retail islands in front of the Mullins Crossing shopping center on Washington Road.
Sean Anderson said he's seen the need to bring major retail and restaurants to the area to diversify the county's tax base.
"If we're going to live here and preach to others then why don't we put something here," he said.
The restaurant is set to open in May and the Andersons said they are hoping to hire between 12 and 15 full- and part-time employees.
Also, a Pizza Hut opened Feb. 7 on Washington Road in the former Roma's Pizza location near the Evans Wal-Mart Supercenter.
The restaurant, which is a delivery and carry-out operation, will expand the pizza chain's reach west along Washington Road out to Windmill Plantation, restaurant manager Tuwonda Hicks said.
"This is the perfect location," Hicks said. "People can come home from work and they can hit us on their way home."
The franchisee, NPC International, has leased the space since the summer but was unable to find a contractor to remodel the location to the familiar Pizza Hut look, area general manager Ricky Emerson said.
Another business opening soon on Washington Road is a Panera Bread Co. that will cap the other end of a retail island opposite Starbucks Coffee in Mullins Crossing shopping center.
Construction workers are busily installing signs on the exterior of the building.
There also is development taking place off North Belair Road between Washington Road and Industrial Park Drive. Workers for developer Mark Herbert have begun clearing land. Herbert said the development will include office space and an upscale restaurant, but he declined to name the restaurant until negotiations with the company are complete.
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