Coming to Cullman: Harbor Freight, Ashley Furniture and Milo’s Hamburgers

Harbor Freight

CULLMAN – The Cullman Economic Development Agency (CEDA) and Drinkard Development have announced the coming of three new businesses to the city of Cullman: Harbor Freight Tools, Ashley Furniture and Milo's Hamburgers.

CEDA Project Coordinator Susan Eller forwarded to the Tribune a press release from Harbor Freight Marketing Manager Collin Ozar.  The California-based discount tool chain will open its Cullman store at 1636 Second Ave. SW, next to the Foundry Thrift Store.  The company expects the store to employ 35-40 workers, and to be open for business on Jan. 31, 2017, with an official grand opening on Feb. 15.

Included in the release was a statement from Harbor Freight President Eric Smidt: “We're thrilled to be opening our 18th Harbor Freight Tools store in Alabama and very pleased by the warm welcome we've received in Cullman.  At Harbor Freight, we're all about delivering high quality tools at ridiculously low prices.  We do it by manufacturing our tools at the same factories as the expensive brands, but we cut out the middle man and pass the savings on to our customers.  We've also invested millions of dollars to build and operate our own state-of-the-art quality test labs to ensure that we're constantly driving quality at the lowest possible price. We invite everyone in the Cullman area to visit our upcoming new store at 1636 2nd Ave SW and see why if you buy tools anywhere else, you're throwing your money away."

The other two new businesses are both projects of Drinkard Development (DD).  The Tribune spoke with DD Vice President Jason Grimmett about these projects.

Wisconsin-based Ashley Furniture is set to open a Homestore sometime in March 2017 next to Hobby Lobby in the Town Square Shopping Center.  The 21,000+ square foot facility is currently undergoing extensive renovation from its previous role as a gym.  The store is expected to employ around 25 workers to start.

Grimmett says that DD decided to approach Ashley after observing that, while Cullman has plenty of commercial establishments like restaurants and department stores, it is short on dedicated furniture retailers.

DD also recently signed a deal with Milo's Hamburgers to open a store in the south Cullman Cherokee Ave. retail district.  The Birmingham-based fast food chain, already well-known in the Cullman area for its sweet tea available through local grocery and convenience stores, will locate its new restaurant off Cherokee Ave., on Patriot Way between Chick-fil-A and Cici's Pizza.  DD hopes to start work on the site, according to Grimmett, "in a matter of days," with the goal of opening the restaurant in spring 2017.

Of the developer's new projects, Grimmett said, "We're always looking for new opportunities.  At Drinkard, we're excited for Cullman, excited for the future and for any role we can play in it.  Shop local!  By getting more top quality retailers here, we hope more people will shop locally."


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