Prattville Keeps Bringing In New Business


By Alabama News Network

A new restaurant is open for business in Prattville, yet another one that's chosen that city over Montgomery

Panda Express is one of those, as well as O'Charley's and McAllister's, who closed locations in the capital city but stayed open in Prattville. 
The mayor cut the ribbon to open the new Smashburger.
But there are more than just restaurants looking at Prattville as an opportunity. 
There was a steady stream of customers coming out for lunch to the new Smashburger.
The shops along Cobbs Ford Road by I-65 are filling up fast, and Mayor Bill Gillespie says it's because a lot of hard work is finally paying off. 
"We are very centrally located, very easy to get to being right here on the interstate. From downtown montgomery just a few minutes, from millbrook, wetumpka, just a few minutes, from downtown Prattville just a few minutes," said Gillespie. 
But it's more than just the location. Gillespie says it's about the people in town too. 
Raj Ataya is the president of the regional smashburger franchise and he says community played a big part in moving here.
"You look at need but most important you just drive through communities and try to get a feel and see how the people are, how the community is, and if this is a community that could really support a smashburger. Is it something they could appreciate here?" said Ataya.
It's not only restaurants expanding into town. Gilmore Ford is going through some changes to become part of the Long-Lewis dealership out of Hoover.
It's one of the state's oldest dealerships, around since 1915.
That means expansion and more jobs.
General Manager Charlie Wall says he was surprised Long Lewis selected Prattville over Montgomery.
"Yes, very much so, but Ford has been targeting Prattville for a while for expansion and growth. They feel this is definitely a community, it's time to have a bigger facility that services all your customer's needs," said Wall. 
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