Demolition of the former Hickory Food Factory Craft Diner building on U.S. 321 started on Monday.
The restaurant closed in May 2020, according to the company website. The building and right-of-way property were bought by the N.C. Department of Transportation in November for the expansion of U.S. 321 to six lanes, according to the deed filed with the Caldwell County Register of Deeds.
The NCDOT paid FJS & JG LLC, which owns the two pieces of land along U.S. 321 where the Food Factory was located, $2.4 million for the right-of-way and the two-story building, according to the deed. The purchase allows the department to demolish the building if needed.
The NCDOT started buying land for the first phase of the U.S. 321 expansion, from U.S. 70 in Hickory to U.S. 321-A in Granite Falls, in 2019, according to the NCDOT website. Construction of that first section is scheduled to begin this summer.
The expansion is funded for $288 million through the state, according to the NCDOT website.