A couple of local businesses have left Covington recently as the effects of the recession continue to linger amidst the hope of an economic turnaround.
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen in Covington closed down recently as evidenced by the boarded up windows and sign telling customers to visit the Conyers location.
Juanita Vann, a human resources employee with the 755 Restaurant Corporations, which owns Burger King, Krispy Kreme and Popeyes, said the franchise location closed because of a business decision. Popeyes has no other location in Covington, but Vann said the company would certainly consider coming back.
Property manger Jerry Bouchillon said he heard from an employee that the store wasn’t doing enough business to justify the lease. He said AFC Enterprises, Popeyes parent corporation, has a long lease with the property, and he said he didn’t know what they had planned for the location.
Popeyes has been at the corner of Pace Street and U.S. Highway 278 for more than three years Bouchillon said, but the corner has held a fast food chain of one type or another for more than 30 years. Hardee’s was at the corner for around 22 years and a Big Jack’s was there for another 10-plus years before that.
He said he even remembers a mobile-home dealership being located on the property in the 1960s, called “Upside Down Charlie’s.”
In other business news, after purchasing McIntosh Bank’s assets, CharterBank, headquartered in West Point, Ga., has moved out of the identifiable location on U.S. Highway 278. No one from the company could be reached for comment Tuesday, and it is unclear whether the bank moved out of the community entirely or simply changed locations.
When CharterBank came to Covington in March, CEO Bob Johnson said it was too early to talk about any long term plans and that the company was more focused on Western Georgia. The bank had leased the building from the FDIC, which has a contact sign in front of the building. The site is 16,684-square feet and sits on 3.74 acres according to the sign. The property is valued at $3.46 million according to the Newton County Tax Assessor’s website.
Finally, in Newton Plaza, Little Caesar’s Pizza is planning for a mid-October opening after some delays, said John Brozovic, regional director of leasing for Halpern Enterprises, which owns Newton Plaza.