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May 2, 2013

Bama Fever, ALDI grocery, Moe’s BBQ set to open soon

Football fans, deal-hunters and BBQ lovers take note — two new retail stores are coming to south Cullman, filling some mostly-untapped niches for local shoppers.

A new Bama Fever store is opening just off Cherokee Avenue, between Yogurt Mountain and Five Guys Burgers and Fries. The company specializes in University of Alabama T-shirts and memorabilia, and operates approximately seven franchises around the state.

The opening will mark Cullman’s first fully-focused Alabama memorabilia shop. The store is scheduled for a grand opening June 1.

Just down the street from that Cherokee Avenue shopping center, the new ALDI grocery store is also set to open later this month. The discount grocer is scheduled to host a grand opening May 9.

The ALDI company has more than 1,200 U.S. stores spread across 32 states, and carries food items at a steep discount due to less overhead costs than a typical grocer. Locations are known for using a cart rental system — with shoppers inserting a quarter to “rent” a cart, which is released when the cart is returned — and encouraging customers to bring their own shopping bags. Most stores typically only take cash or pin-based debit cards, as well, to avoid credit card processing fees.

“We are pleased to bring our first store to Cullman to help customers get high-quality products at everyday low prices,” ALDI Mt. Juliet division vice president Troy Marshall said in a press release. “We challenge shoppers to switch from national brands to our high-quality exclusive brands and save up to 50 percent without compromising. As important as price is, the only way to attract and keep shoppers is to have quality products.”

In downtown, a Moe’s Original BBQ is finally set to open the week of May 20, after running into some construction delays along the way. The restaurant will feature patio dining, a full bar and live music on the weekends.

“Things are really great right now and we plan to finish up the main construction phase this week, then we’ll need about two more weeks of getting ready,” co-owner Justin Gilley said. “We’ll have fresh meats every day, all southern sides, seven flat screen TVs, lunch specials and full service dining for dinner. We just want to try some different things to keep it fresh and unique to Cullman.”

Cullman Economic Development Agency retail recruiter Susie Hood Ashley said the string of upcoming openings are a positive sign for the local retail climate, and should help fill some new niches in specific areas.

“Folks are starting to figure out what a great place Cullman is, and they’re bringing their businesses here to help fill some gaps and boost our local economy,” she said.

Trent Moore can be reached by e-mail at trentm@cullmantimes.com, or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.

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