Business Plan Proposed for Blue Rooster Site

Rebecca and Nathan Calhoun would like to make the spot into the go-to place for both food and entertainment.

Lilburn's Downtown Development Authority has another candidate to consider for the Blue Rooster building on Main Street that's been vacant for more than a year: A local couple would like to open a cafe offering healthy sandwiches, soups and salads.

The eatery would highlight the history of the building and the railroad in Lilburn, Nathan and Rebecca Calhoun told the DDA Wednesday night, "an old-town railroad theme with decor and music to match," according to Rebecca Calhoun.

The couple presented a business plan at the DDA's Wednesday night meeting. At last month's meeting, Candace Hawkins gave a presentation on the Southern/Creole restaurant she would like to open there. A few other people have expressed interest in the building, said Doug Stacks, director of planning and economic development for the city, and they will give presentations at meetings in the near future. The DDA board will then decide who will get the lease.

The Calhouns have also been talking with Scott Mecredy, who owns Music on Main Street, located across the parking lot from the Blue Rooster building, about the possiblity of offering live music at the cafe in order to become a destination for people looking for good food, spirits and entertainment.

"I really liked what they had to say," Mecredy told the DDA. It's "exactly what I'd been hoping for."

The Calhouns would start by offering breakfast and lunch every day except Sunday, and eventually would be open for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights.

Rebecca is a graduate of the Gwinnett Tech Culinary Arts program and has experience ranging from Waffle House to catering and the Blue House in Norcross. The menu the couple proposes for the Blue Rooster property would be similar to what the Blue House offers, she said.

The DDA bought the Blue Rooster property last fall in a bid to get a business in there as quickly as possible. People had expressed interest in renting the place, Stacks said back then, but the bank that owned it could only sell it, not rent it out. Too, by buying the place, the DDA can determine what sort of business moves into it.

Gerald McDowell February 23, 2012 at 12:52 PM
In this economy it will take some creative public-private initiatives for economic development - great leadership by the DDA.
Mandy McManus February 23, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Paula Henry February 23, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Hope the food will be as good as that of the Blue Rooster.
Roger Jennings February 23, 2012 at 03:15 PM
The question is how long will the DDA drag their feet with this one ! The long tedious process is not benefiting the success of the Downtown strip.
Lilburn Community Partnership February 23, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Due diligence up front by all parties involved will guarantee the long term success of Main Street Lilburn. Sometimes that takes time, and the DDA deserves accolades for their volunteerism in putting the time in to examine closely the applicants' proposals for a suitable addition to the downtown area.
Cindy Woodham February 23, 2012 at 06:12 PM
I am super excited to know there is interest in having another restaurant in the Blue Rooster spot. My husband and I have commented to one another countless times that we wish we had some place close to home with great food, great service and entertainment. Sounds like Lilburn is on the right track!
Raven LT February 24, 2012 at 12:52 AM
My family and I have known the Calhoun Family for almost four years. They have been caring and trustworthy neighbors and friends. They recently catered my husband's surprise party, sacrificing/dedicating hours and hours of their time free of charge, and the spread was beautiful and just simply amazing. They often send over tasty treats just because. They have always been here for us and all of our neighbors and invest whole-heartedly in our community. They have babysat our small children so we can enjoy a date night from time to time. They host neighborhood watch meetings and other neighborhood social events at their own home, including their annual fall celebration. They led neighbors last year in a neighborhood clean-up, shoveling and hauling pounds of debris from gutters and curbsides. I highly recommend the Calhouns for the challenge of re-uniting Lilburn through the cafe because of their warm spirits, big hearts of service, love of music and community, experience, and good food!
Theresa Tomich February 25, 2012 at 01:37 AM
WOW --- that sounds like a great plan, good use of space. I'm hungry - when do the Calhouns open?
Sarah February 26, 2012 at 01:29 AM
The Calhoun's should get this chance, we are all rooting for them and I happen to know Rebecca is a fantastic cook! Going to eat there and it's going to be fantastic!


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