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Around Town: 'King Claw' due in early April, Divine intervention for River District space also an update on a business owner seriously on the run

By John DruckenmillerHardy Realty,

The King Claw is just about ready at 2204 Shorter Ave. in West Rome, complete with an added outdoor patio that perfectly incorporates the original design of the shopping center. John Druckenmiller

The King Claw is just about ready in West Rome: From the outside, you immediately appreciate the updated touches to the corner location at West Towne shopping center. There has been some serious work done to the future home of The King Claw.

As of today, the projected opening date is early April, says Jamie Pendarvis, the chain’s director of operations. We also hear a “soft opening” could come a bit sooner.

The operators have added a gorgeous outdoor dining option that incorporates the design of the shopping center that also is home to Big Lots.

With the Shorter Avenue opening, The King Claw will have seven restaurants, with others in Charleston, S.C.; Columbus; Albany; Thomasville; Waycross; and Morrow. The cooking style? “King Claw is inspired by the Viet-Cajun elegance of boil-in-a-bag seafood that holds all the juicy flavor of the ocean. Then we add our very own unique mixture of the best spices that take the taste to another level.”

Expected hours: Noon until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Hiring also is continuing.

Heavenly office space?

We continue to track the retail and restaurant changes in Rome’s River District with a lot more on the way, but what about office space?

For those looking to get in, Trinity United Methodist Church is offering a unique option — leasing of up to 10,000 square feet off North Fifth Avenue below the Turner McCall intersection.

Keith Beauchamp of Hardy Realty has the listing and says the focus is on office space. You can reserve the whole thing or it can be subdivided to fit smaller needs.

You can call me Jay...

There’s always something happening on Broad Street but a current “for sale/lease” sign is drawing extra buzz.

In the 200 block, next to Lynn’s Uniform Shop, the vacant storefront has a big sign displayed by Stephenson Realty. The contact: Jay Stephenson.

Most know Jay for his fleet feet ventures — formerly coaching cross country at Shorter, Go-Go Running at the Shoe Box on Martha Berry, Big Peach Running Co. in Cartersville, local races, working with area student athletes, etc. He’s everywhere when it comes to distance running and the proper footwear.

But real estate? “I’ve been doing it for almost 20 years,” Stephenson says, acknowledging he is among those with the capital R Realtor designation. His mother is a broker in Gwinnett County; Jay adds he has five things on the market at this time.

The Broad Street listing came about because of his partnership in another business, a construction firm that was doing some joist work and other upgrades for the owner. He asked Jay about a sale or lease of the property and up went the sign.

Stephenson’s secret to seemingly doing it all sounds like a LinkedIn post: Find good people, provide the needed training and compensation, and let them not just succeed but exceed in their talents beyond what he shares with them.

He shared a couple of stories of footwear customers telling him an employee was better at it than Stephenson. Perhaps meant as “friendly” dig, Stephenson accepted them as compliments.

His passion for being quick on his feet has to be an asset as well.

Peaks & Valleys

The highs and lows of Northwest Georgia

Peak to the idea of having Wendy Davis on the SPLOST committee: With his seniority, Bill Collins is a voice that will be heard. That happened Monday with his pushing former commissioner Wendy Davis for a seat on the extra-penny sales tax panel. The push-back from Jamie Doss and Randy Quick comes from the fact that the committee didn’t recommend her for the post. Protocol is protocol, but the fact remains that Collins can recommend her for the spot in his capacity as a city commissioner prior to any vote taking place. Davis is a two-term commission veteran, recent congressional candidate, serves on state committees and is a member of the Democratic National Committee. Plus don’t forget Davis’ work to successfully pass the penny tax vote that brought the Rome Braves to town two decades ago. She followed that by serving on other special tax committees. She is certainly qualified.

Valley to green beer on St. Patrick’s Day: Educated by Irish nuns (the Sisters of NO Mercy), we appreciate just about anything from the Emerald Isle. We consider “Waking Ned Devine” a classic. That said, polluting a perfectly good beer — especially craft brews — with green dye should be illegal. We raise a parting glass today to all who agree.

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