A Zaxby’s restaurant is coming to the location formerly occupied by Cafe Erotica.
The Warner Robins City Council approved the annexation of the lot at the southwest corner of Interstate 75 and the Ga. 247 Connector on Monday.
The annexation was the final hurdle to get started on construction, said Chad Oliver, who will co-own the restaurant with Eric Hefner. Oliver said he hopes construction will start within a month.
If all goes well, the restaurant could open by February, but he said it could also be March or April.
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The two men opened a Zaxby’s on Russell Parkway at Lake Joy Road on Oct. 3, in front of the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market grocery store.
Oliver said the Zaxby’s coming to I-75 will be identical on the exterior to the one that opened on Russell Parkway, and the interior will be nearly the same. He said it’s a much nicer building than the older Zaxby’s restaurants.
He and Hefner bought the 2.6-acre Cafe Erotica lot this year. They are using about an acre for the restaurant, and the rest of it will be for sale. Oliver said he hopes the restaurant will spark interest in the site, and they can sell the remaining part of the tract to another business that wants to open there.
“In the next couple of years, I think that’s going to be a nicely developed area,” Oliver said.
Zaxby’s will be a marked change from the 24-hour restaurant that operated there for 16 years. Cafe Erotica served up food and nude dancing around the clock until a group of investors bought the property in 2008 and closed it. About 100 business leaders from Houston and Peach counties gathered to celebrate the demolition of the building shortly after the purchase.
Cafe Erotica featured giant “We Bare All” billboards along the interstate, and Warner Robins residents grudgingly used it as a landmark to tell visitors which exit to get off on to come into the city.
The investors who bought the property in 2008 had hoped to start a commercial development there, but the lot has remained vacant ever since. The only business operating at the corner is an old motel, the Royal Inn. Danny Patel, the manager of the motel, said he averages about 20 rooms filled a night.