Cracker Barrel, the famously old country store based in Lebanon, Tennessee, announced they will be shifting their focus away from the tried and true standard to develop a more modern, hip, urban alternative.
Cracker Barrels are known to maintain hour-long waits even when there are two restaurants placed at the same exit off the interstate, each next to a Waffle House. Cracker Barrels are a smashing success wherever they are established. In addition to country cooking, they offer merchandise for sale in their “Old Country Store,” such as country knick-knacks, Christmas ornaments, candies, and apparel. Sale of this merchandise is very lucrative.
Urban planners have long desired to have some sort of draw to blighted downtown areas, and an urbanized Cracker Barrel might just be the answer, according to Gemini Kriquet, an urban planner known for organizing urban environments to a plan. “A Cracker Barrel, in its chic, modern form, might just get those travelers off the interstate and into urban areas they might normally not visit. And in a way that aquariums and halls of fame don’t,” she explained.
Cracker Barrel, known to have a double meaning as to what’s inside, will change the name for its urban iteration. The new restaurants will be called Le PÃ©tard Baril. Instead of country fare, the stores will be designed by Philippe Starck to display an ultra modern, ultra hip decor.
The country store concept will remain, with the giftshop selling decorative deadbolts, window bars, and topiaries. Additionally, the store will carry a full line of bon-bons, Evian waters, and perrier.
The menu will be updated with most items translated to French and served with less gravy and fewer grits. Vegetables will be served steamed, with sourdough loaves instead of biscuits or cornbread. Very few meats will be fried, and tofu will be added as a meat alternative in most cases.
Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville are all slated to be test markets. However, the new restaurant concept is still in the early design phases. The corporation hopes to have one open by fall of next year.