Morganton said goodbye Monday to the first of two former restaurant buildings to be demolished as new businesses look to come to Interstate 40.
The old Zeko’s Village near Exit 105 was demolished Monday by crews with D.H. Griffin. The former site of the restaurant soon will have an access road running though it that will connect West Parker Road to South Sterling Street, lining up with the road Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge-Morganton is on, according to a previous News Herald article.
The old Abele’s Family Restaurant will be the next building to go, the article said. Plans for a Longhorn Steakhouse that could seat 274 people with about 125 parking spots have been announced, but the sale of the land has not closed, according to a public records check.
Plans for a hotel also have been announced, but the sale of that land also has not closed.
The News Herald decided to ask people in downtown Morganton what other businesses they would like to see come to the area. Here are their responses:
“I think that we have some breakfast places around here but I’m thinking some more healthy places, some places that you could a nice egg omelet with real, natural ingredients and maybe some nutritional shakes that come with it. Something that would be in the line with a healthy breakfast.”
“Salsaritas maybe, or another one that’s really good is Moe’s. I like Moe’s a lot.”
“I wouldn’t mind seeing a Hooters.”
“Yeah, Hooters would be nice.”
“Boy, I would really love to see a great barbecue place. And maybe let them have some bluegrass music in the mix, you know? That would be awesome. That would be awesome.”
“I would love to see a Mellow Mushroom or something like that. A good restaurant you can take your families to, good parking, but you know, something that’s a little bit casual … downtown’s got some good, fancier restaurants but I’d love to see a restaurant go in. That’d be great.”
“No more commercial businesses, more mom and pop, family - owned businesses. A juice bar, a good bakery would be good with some bagels, pastries. Kind of near the roadside … We need a farm and garden. Like a good, hydroponic indoor gardening store.”
Staff Writer Sharon McBrayer contributed to this story.