RIPLEY • Construction on Checkers Drive-In is underway in Ripley. According to the new restaurant’s owner, Sedrick Turner, it is expected to open the last weekend of September or the first weekend in October.
“We fast-tracked and started construction sooner than we anticipated,” said Turner.
One of Turner’s managers, who is from the area, first suggested building in Ripley, and after meeting with some local officials, Turner said the decision to locate a Checkers in Ripley was a no brainer.
“Ripley, like Pontotoc, is a Christian type niche community. The first person I met (in Ripley) is one of the nicest men you could meet, Mr. Bobby Martin at The Peoples Bank,” said Turner. “He just welcomed us in, and after that, we were sold on Ripley and what you guys can offer us and what we can offer you. It was just the right fit.”
Once the restaurant opens, it will employ around 50 people.
“What sets us apart (from other fast food restaurants) is our quality of food. We have the best fries around. The food sells itself and the overall experience. You don’t have to get out of your car, and we get you in and out quickly.”
Once open, Checkers plans to be actively involved in the community.
“We want to give back to the community and support the schools in the area. We are not only here to offer a good service but to help the community as well.”
Turner says he is glad to be able to offer something different for diners in Ripley. The closest Checkers locations are in Pontotoc and Tupelo. He is looking at possibly building in Oxford, New Albany, Booneville, and Houston as well.
“We want to thank the mayor. He was very inspirational in helping us get set up in the area, and our engineer, Mark Ward, really helped out on the project. Mr. Martin and Rickey Settlemires at the bank are the nicest people in the world. That’s the type of town you want to be in, one that welcomes you and is sincere about it. We are just elated to be in Ripley.”
Mayor Chris Marsalis expressed his appreciation to the new business for locating in Ripley.
“The Aldermen and I are proud that new businesses like Checkers continue to locate and expand in Ripley, even with the uncertainty out there. It just goes to show you that even from the outside, people recognize what we all know: Ripley is a great place to live and work. Stay tuned, more on the way!” said Marsalis.