A Midwestern and Southern staple is making its way out west for the very first time. City officials announced Feb. 16 that Cracker Barrel Old Country Store would open its first California location in the city of Victorville in southwestern San Bernardino County.
The Southern-themed restaurant-gift shop will occupy a nearly 10,000-square-foot building along the city's 15 Freeway, and should open before the end of 2017.
City officials couldn't be happier about its arrival.
"Cracker Barrel is expected to generate between $50,000 and $70,000 a year in sales to Victorville, and the economic impact of 200 employees, spending money in and around town, will help benefit us as well," City Manager Doug Robertson told the San Bernardino Sun.
"Cracker Barrel will be a wonderful addition to our city's restaurant row, and we are thrilled this major retailer will be building its first California location in Victorville," Mayor Gloria Garcia said in a statement. "This speaks to the strength of our city's retail market, and we will continue to attract quality dining and retail choices for our community."
The nearby High Desert region, home to about 450,000 people, is a logical location for the restaurant, too.
President of the Rancho Cucamonga-based commercial real estate firm Progressive Real Estate Partners Brad Umansky said, "I think we've seen a trend towards certain restaurants coming into the High Desert, because the region is most similar to the Midwest and so it's a chance for a restaurant operation to come into California, but at least be in a place that addresses a similar type of demographic and customer.
"I think it's about a focus on the family. They value similar forms of entertainment rather than a big night out. They value going out to a big family-oriented restaurant as something that's enjoyable."
The Victorville location -- the Golden State's first -- will join Cracker Barrel's existing 641 restaurants and old country stores across 43 states.