Springfield News Leader's Steve Pokin joins Daybreak to answer the question about the vacant building in Nixa that used to house Ruby Tuesday.
Hey Answer Man! What's going in where the Ruby Tuesday once was on Northview Road and Highway 160 in Nixa? A sign says "under contract." I heard it was going to be a Big Whiskey's. — Kevin Cummings, of Nixa
You are close, Kevin.
The property is, in fact, owned by Big Whiskey's, which has its corporate office in Springfield.
But they are selling it; it's under contract to someone else.
And Laura Elliott, Big Whiskey's marketing director, won't tell me who because the deal is not yet final.
Here's what happened.
In August 2016, according to KY3, Ruby Tuesday closed 95 restaurants nationwide, including three in this area — the one in Nixa; one at 900 W. Old Towne Road in Republic; and one at 4121 S. National Ave. in Springfield.
Big Whiskey's No. 1 priority was the site in Republic, Elliott said, but in order to get that location the company had to also purchase the site in Nixa.
Plan A, Elliott said, was to put in a Big Whiskey's in Republic and quickly sell the property in Nixa.
The first part of that plan was accomplished when a Big Whiskey's opened in Republic in August 2017.
As you noticed, Kevin, the property in Nixa is under contract.
One reason the Republic location was more desirable for the company, Elliott said, is because the company already has a restaurant in nearby Ozark.
If the "under contract" sale falls through and the Nixa property is difficult to sell, Elliott says, Plan B is to convert the Nixa location into a Big Whiskey's.
Big Whiskey's has six corporate restaurants in southwest Missouri; a franchise in Lee's Summit; and a franchise in Bentonville, Arkansas.
In 2018, a corporate restaurant will open in Kansas City and franchise restaurants will open in Las Vegas and Birmingham, Alabama.
Keep those questions coming. Send them to The Answer Man at 836-1253, firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @stevepokinNL or by mail at 651 N. Boonville, Springfield, MO 65806.
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