The first convenience store in the 15-year history of Columbus Park Crossing is now coming out of the ground, just across from the Academy Sports and Outdoors store that opened its doors this week.
The 3,400-square-foot outlet that is going between a new Fazoli’s restaurant and an existing Dairy Queen will take the name of “Falcon,” said Sanjay Choudhury, the Columbus businessman who will own the convenience store that will include an additional 1,000-square-foot space featuring an eatery.
“I’m looking to open up a country kitchen type of place,” he said of the food establishment, which will have about 10 to 15 seats, but will be geared more toward takeout orders. “Minnie’s is looking at it and a couple of other country-style cooking food (businesses) are looking at it.”
Choudhury said his investment in the venture thus far is nearly $1.8 million, which includes the building and the land upon which it will sit when completed sometime in October or November. The restaurant, which will be attached to the building but have a separate entrance, is expected to open a few weeks after that.
The name Falcon was chosen simply because it’s a popular name, the businessman said, while the brand of gas sold at the store will be Liberty, a Charlottesville, Va.-based distributor. There already are more than a dozen stations in the area carrying the Liberty logo.
“Liberty is a good brand and familiar name,” said Choudhury, explaining he wanted a gas supplier that did not charge as much for fuel. “I just wanted a gas price that was affordable to everybody. Especially people working in the area, they don’t have to feel like they’re paying for expensive gas.”
“I’m hoping to sell close to 100,000 to 120,000 gallons of gas a month. That’s my expectations, but let’s see how it goes,” he said of the high-traffic Columbus Park Crossing area, which is home to a power shopping center and two apartment complexes, with plenty of additional residential properties in the vicinity. Credit-card processor TSYS also has a large workforce presence less than a mile away.
Amenities at the convenience store will include a coffee section, an area with a small lounge to grab a bite to eat in the form of snacks and sandwiches, and an 800-square-foot wine section. There also will be at least one charging station for vehicles that use electricity.
“I want to do a big wine selection, and a lot of different kinds of beers. We’ll have lots of craft beers,” said the businessman, who expects the store to open at 6 a.m. each morning, then close at 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. on weekdays and perhaps 3 a.m. on weekends.
Choudhury already owns the Wild Wing Cafe at Columbus Park Crossing and another in Opelika, Ala. He also is a partner with Trevor Morris in Trevioli Italian Kitchen on Blackmon Road in Columbus.
Aside from Fazoli’s, which opened Tuesday, and the future convenience store, another restaurant under construction on the property is Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom. It should open this fall.
A new traffic signal has been placed near the front of where the store and gas station will be located and the main entrance to Academy Sports and Outdoors. On Thursday, the light was blinking with a Columbus Police Department officer monitoring traffic. Motorists accustomed to passing quickly through the Whittlesey Boulevard area closest to Moon Road will need to slow down and be prepared to stop for the fully activated signal.
SP Architect is doing the design work on the building, while Dangie Construction is putting the structure up. Liberty will be installing the gas pumps.