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Riverside Drive Wendy’s Re-Opens at Last

Clarksville, TN – “It’s been a long ten months,” according to Wendy’s of Clarksville Mike O’Malley speaking about the re-opening of the Riverside Drive Wendy’s location. The store was stripped of everything that wasn’t nailed down just before the rising flood waters deluged the store with 4′ of water in May 2010.

After the flood some tough choices had to be made, including the making the decision to totally rebuild, or not.

A young man ordering a Frosty is the first customer at the newly re-opened Wendy's Restaurant
A young man ordering a Frosty is the first customer at the newly re-opened Wendy's Restaurant

They finally chose to gut the building and remodel, primarily due to the being limited by the available lot size. Shawn O’Malley the Finance and Project Manager for Wendy’s of Bowling Green handled the project for the company, “We looked at several bids and ended up going with Fulton Wilson as the contractor due to his experience in structural engineering. Sonya Jewell of Bowling Green handled the new interior design.”

“We spent over 1,000,000 dollars on the renovations. All the equipment and interior furnishing are brand new” said Mike O’Malley, “We put a modern store into the old shell.”

Jeff Shelton (back) and Shawn O'Malley (front) puts Open on the new sign
Jeff Shelton (back) and Shawn O'Malley (front) puts Open on the new sign
General Manager Sarah Martens with franchise owner Mike O'Malley
General Manager Sarah Martens with franchise owner Mike O'Malley

General Manager Sarah Martens is rightfully proud of her new restaurant. “It’s new, sparkly, and beautiful. I transferred from one of the older style stores. The atmosphere of the Riverside Drive location is now so warm and inviting, that you just want to be here.” she said.

“We wanted to chronicle the Great Flood of 2010 in the new design, so we added a high water mark in river stone in the redesigned atrium, along with artwork depicting the flood.” said Mike O’Malley.

Other features of the new store include a wall paying tribute to Austin Peay State University Athletics. “We wanted to honor APSU in look of the new store. Due to our proximity to the campus we get a lot of students in there.” said Shawn O’Malley.

The Austin Peay State University Tribute Wall
The Austin Peay State University Tribute Wall
Morale is high among the staff
Morale is high among the staff

The dining room also features two beautiful Frank Lott prints, and Tiffany style hanging lamps that are a tribute to the elegance that the original Wendy’s Restaurants were known for.

The Riverside Drive store provides jobs for 53 people, who received six weeks of training at various Wendy’s Restaurants throughout Clarksville. “The biggest challenge has been getting an entire crew trained to the high standards that our customers expect when they come to a Wendy’s Restaurant,” Martens said.

The re-opening day staff at the Wendy's Restaurant
The re-opening day staff at the Wendy's Restaurant
Melinda Lou (Wendy) Thomas played by Caity Thomas (not related) poses for a photo with customers.
Melinda Lou (Wendy) Thomas played by Caity Thomas (not related) poses for a photo with customers.

Mike O’Malley was quite proud of the fact that no one at Wendy’s lost their job as a result of the floods devastation. “Some of the opening crew today worked here before the flooding” he said.

Manager Sarah Martens started working for the Clarksville Wendy’s as an after school job and decided to make a career of it. “Wendy’s is a great place to work,” she said.”It helped me pay my way through college.” She has been working for the chain for the last 15 years, and she transfered to the Riverside Drive Store after managing the Wilma Rudolph Blvd Wendy’s for the last few years.

“We hope that a people who are out enjoying spring weather on the River Walk will drop by for a nice refreshing frosty.” said Mike O’Malley. And that sounds like a really good idea!

A family enjoying a meal together outdoors at the Riverside Drive Wendy's
A family enjoying a meal together outdoors at the Riverside Drive Wendy's

The redesigned store is located at 662 North Riverside Drive. Their hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday from 9:45am-10:00pm; with the drive through open until 1:00am. On Friday and Saturday, the drive through stays open until 2:00am.

For more information you can contact the store at 931-552-4766.

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Bill Larson
Bill Larson
Bill Larson is  is politically and socially active in the community. Bill is a member of the Friends of Dunbar Cave. You can reach him via telephone at 931-249-0043 or via the email address below.
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