Ruby Tuesday closed

The former Ruby Tuesday restaurant in Aberdeen closed abruptly in December. 

A local mom-and-pop restaurant owner is betting he can breathe new life into one of the busiest corners in town.

Longtime resident Jon Lin and his family closed the deal to purchase the shuttered Ruby Tuesday property in Aberdeen last week. Located at the U.S. 1/15-501 intersection, the site — and entire block surrounding it — are ripe for redevelopment interests.

Lin established the Super China Buffet restaurant on Johnson Street, near PetsMart, over 20 years ago. He plans to renovate the Ruby Tuesday building and then shift his business to this new location.

“We are excited to offer a bigger and better restaurant to continue to serve our community,” Lin said.

The new space will offer “nicer digs” and more visibility, said broker Michael Rokoski of Pinehurst-based Rokoski & Associates.

Financial details of the transaction were not announced; however, according to the Moore County Register of Deeds, Lin paid $1.3 million for the property.

According to state Department of Transportation (DOT) maps, the U.S. 1/15-501 crossroads has the highest traffic count of any spot in the entire county.

One of the opportunities and challenges for this area is that DOT has funded a $27.8 million improvement project that will impact U.S. 15-501, from Brucewood Road to U.S. 1; and from Old U.S. 1 to Roseland Road on U.S. 1.

Construction work is expected to begin in 2020, and will likely disrupt business; however, once completed, DOT states the road will be safer and flow more efficiently.

The Ruby Tuesday building has been vacant since last year. Like its nearby neighbor, the former Applebee’s restaurant which closed abruptly in June 2017 and has since been demolished, both chains faced slumping sales over the last decade while the fast-casual market — think Panera — took off.

The former Applebee’s site has made way for a new Tidal Wave Auto Spa car wash now under construction.

Behind the new car wash and new Super China Buffet location, the Quality Inn hotel has also undergone a quiet transformation in the last few years. Purchased in mid-2016 by Charlotte-based businessman Kunal Dave of Laxmi Hotel Groups LLC, his company gave the property a total overhaul.

What’s left for redevelopment at this busy corner is the long shuttered McBrayer Leith auto dealership. Larger than it appears from the road, the nearly 5-acre site is listed with Bell Manley Properties for $2.3 million.

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