This guy and my grandfather were friends in Lebanon. My grandfather is famous for turning down the opportunity to go into business with Mr. Evans with the line, “Danny, I just don’t think folks will pay money for soup beans and cornbread.” God I love me some Cracky B’s.
RIP: Dan “Danny” Evins, founder of the popular (and occasionally controversial) national restaurant/gift shop chain Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, passed away today of an undisclosed cause. He was 76.
The first Cracker Barrel opened its doors in 1969 in Lebanon, Tennessee. Evins drew inspiration for his restaurant from the country stores he frequented as a kid growing up in the Volunteer State.
Cracker Barrel took its name from the empty cracker barrels country store patrons would use to place their checkerboards on while they played and gossipped about local scuttlebutt.
With its headquarters situated near its flagship store, the chain quickly expanded, eventually surpassing 600 locations across 42 states. Evins served as the company’s CEO — and, later, chairman — for over 30 years. He retired in 2004.
“Danny was the keeper of this special brand for so many, many years, and he left us with a strong culture that values quality and honesty,” said Michael Woodhouse, who succeed Evins as Executive Chairman. “He will be missed deeply.”
[ap via usatoday.]