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Tennessee-based restaurant chain has applied to build at Nyberg Rivers.



TIMES FILE PHOTO - The Nyberg Rivers shopping center, seen here, could be the first home of Cracker Barrel Old  Country Store on the West Coast.Cracker Barrel Old Country Store could be a new addition to the Nyberg Rivers shopping center — and the West Coast.

Aquilla Hurd-Ravich, who works as the city of Tualatin's planning manager, said Cracker Barrel submitted an architectural review and land use application in October as a step toward building a restaurant at Nyberg Rivers. That application has since been deemed complete, with an administrative decision expected soon.

“We're expecting to issue it kind of mid-March,” she said.

According to the Cracker Barrel website, the restaurant chain has no locations in Oregon, Washington, California, Alaska or Hawaii. The closest location to the Portland area is in Nampa, Idaho.

“In this particular case, there is a level of … excitement for the company, because this will be our first location this far west,” said Janella Escobar, a spokeswoman for Cracker Barrel. “And so we are definitely excited about it.”

Hurd-Ravich said Cracker Barrel's application is for a 10,112-square-foot restaurant and porch. The restaurant would not have a drive-through, she said.

Tennessee-based Cracker Barrel has been considering at least one other location in the Portland area as well. It was dealt a setback last month, though, when the Beaverton Planning Commission voted to deny an application for a restaurant and gift store off Southwest Canyon Road near Highway 217.

Escobar said the Tualatin restaurant is farther along in the planning and permitting process than any other prospective site on the West Coast.

“Based on what I see, I'm fairly confident that Tualatin will be our first West Coast location,” she said.

Escobar did not offer a firm timeline for when the Cracker Barrel in Tualatin will open, although she said the company's hope is to have it operating by late summer or early fall.

“From the permitting process to breaking ground and to the actual opening of one of our locations, the time varies,” she explained, adding, “We are eager to get to the final step of the permitting process, which at the time we're very optimistic about.”

Cracker Barrel is known for its casual dining atmosphere and Southern-style food, including catfish and chicken-fried steak. While the chain has not yet reached the West Coast, Cracker Barrel restaurants are commonplace in many other parts of the country.

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