- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—Kinston City Council has approved the blueprint plans for a Cook Out in Kinston, Mayor B.J. Murphy said.

While building plans have been drawn up for the former Kinston Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership on U.S. 70 across from the Walmart, but the property hasn’t been sold as of yet.

Murphy said a number of teenagers at the Woodmen Water Park have told him they would like a Cook Out come to Kinston and he believes it would do well.

“We’re happy for any national or local restaurant to open up in this town,” he said.

Lenoir County Manager Tony Sears said the plans include a 3,600-square-foot building with a double drive-thru.

“Cook Out, I think, is a popular restaurant for Kinston. I think it would be a great addition,” he said. “I think this is another way Kinston is continuing its momentum of growth.”

The property, 4050 W. Vernon Ave., is owned by Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation of Irving, Texas.

It’s listed by CBRE in Raleigh, and the for sale sign at the site is tipped over. Ann-Stewart Patterson, the real estate agent handling the property, said in an email she is under a non-disclosure agreement with her client and the property hasn’t closed.

An online CBRE flyer lists the lot and nearly 20,000-square-foot building as reduced from $1.94 million to $900,000. The tax information shows the property has 4.36 acres with an appraised value of about $1.49 million.

Individuals at nearby Chick-fil-A’s parking lot were queried about the possibility of a Cook Out in Kinston.

Shaniqua Jones of Kinston said she’d like a new place to eat.

“I would feel great because I’m tired of eating at Bojangle’s and McDonalds,” she said.

Kerry Mozingo of Albertson said she comes to Kinston frequently.

“I think it would do great here,” she said.

J.R. Eubanks of Greenville, where there is a Cook Out, said his Kinston friends would enjoy having the restaurant here, and he recommended U.S. 70 as the best place for it to be.

“I think it would succeed,” he said.

Cook Out, based in Greensboro, was founded by Morris Reaves in the 1980s. His son Jeremy Reaves is CEO. It’s known for its indoor/outdoor seating, grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, North Carolina barbecue and milkshakes. As of October, there were 150 locations and growing.

Neither Jeremy Reaves nor Nissan could be reached for comment.

Margaret Fisher can be reached at 252-559-1082 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @MargaretFishr.

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