Barrier Properties, LLC, the developer of the mixed-use community Cambridge Square in Ooltewah, announced that long-time Chattanooga restauranteurs Beth and Eric Beaird, along with their son and daughter-in-law, Ryan and Rhonda Beagles, will open a 2,500-square-foot Choo Choo Barbecue on the Cambridge’s public square. Lease negotiations have been concluded, and build-out of the space is expected to begin this year with an opening set for early 2014.
Choo Choo Barbecue will be the third restaurant at Cambridge Square, joining locally-owned Lupi’s Pizza Pies, and Southern Burger, Co. both of which opened in the spring of 2013.
The Beairds began their restaurant careers when they purchased the Armando’s brand from the original owner almost 30 years ago. They conceived the Choo Choo BBQ concept in 1999 and have opened and sold locations in East Ridge, East Brainerd, and on Highway 153. The current Choo Choo Barbecue on Hixson Pike is owned and operated by the Beaird’s daughter and son-in-law, Stephanie and Tripp Bettis. Eric Beaird maintains ownership and operation of the Choo Choo Barbecue on Amnicola Highway.
Ryan and Rhonda Beagles presently own and operate a Choo Choo Barbecue at Quintus Loop (near Shallowford Road). The Beagles and the Beairds will jointly operate Choo Choo Barbecue at Cambridge Square.
“We are very happy to welcome Choo Choo Barbecue to Cambridge Square,” said Jim Cheney, Barrier Properties marketing director. “They have an exceptional track record, and a great reputation for operating quality restaurants in the greater Chattanooga market. They bring another dining option to the community, which gives people another reason to come visit.”
Choo Choo Barbecue will have in-store dining and catering operations at its Cambridge location. In addition to BBQ, catering items include classics such as chicken and dumplings, roast beef, baked ham, classic meat and three vegetable sides, and pies, cobblers, and puddings. The restaurant will offer a wide variety of delicious options such as BBQ platters and sandwiches, salads, gourmet hot dogs, homemade soups and desserts, and specialty baked potatoes. Choo Choo Barbecue restaurant’s have taken first place in the Times Free Press’ Best of the Best competition since 2010.
In addition to working with a growing list of retail and commercial prospects, Barrier Properties has also started construction on the development’s next building — a single-story, 8,000-square-foot space whose first tenant will be Tedford Family Dentistry. Dr. Keith Tedford, who already operates his practice in Ooltewah, announced his decision to join Cambridge Square, taking 3,000 square feet, earlier this year.
Spaces and buildings not located directly on the development’s public square are available for either lease or purchase.
“With the current letter of intent and lease negotiation activity, we are about two signatures away from depleting our existing inventory,” said Mr. Cheney. “If we convert half of the prospects we are currently negotiating with, we anticipate starting at least two more buildings in the next three months. We are very happy with the reception thus far.”
Cambridge Square is at the intersection of Ooltewah-Georgetown Road and Lee Highway, less than half-a-mile from I-75.
Pictured, back row to front, left to right, are Choo Choo Barbecue Family Tripp Bettis, Eric Beaird, Ryan Beagles, Stephanie Bettis, Branley Bettis, Beth Beaird, and Rhonda Beagles