Tuscaloosa businessman Stan Pate joined city leaders and a family of Swedish entrepreneurs on a blazing hot Monday morning to break ground on a new restaurant on Skyland Boulevard.

As the Thread reported back in July, Pate is looking to bring Alabama's own Guthrie's Chicken back to its former on Skyland Boulevard between Hardee's and Taco Bell.

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(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)

Pate said the old Guthrie's that permanently closed and was demolished had been a good revenue generator, but its owners' other locations failed to thrive and the Skyland store closed as collateral damage.

Now, in six months or less, a brand-new Guthries will open on the same property, this time owned by a Swedish family moving to Tuscaloosa to oversee it.

Pate said Victoria and Andreas Ahlgren are in the process of relocating to Alabama with three young children, Elliot, Theo and Selma.

All three kids will enroll in Tuscaloosa schools and the boys are already looking forward to playing travel hockey with a team out of Shelby County.

"We are looking forward so much to being here and opening this restaurant," Victoria Ahlgren told the Thread. "We're grateful for the opportunity to employ people here and for our kids to be able to have all of the American experience."

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)

The entire family was on site for the groundbreaking Monday, alongside Pate, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and three city council members - Cassius Lanier, Kip Tyner and Matthew Wilson.

Pate said he hopes to see the new Guthries open before the end of the year, but is near-certain it will be finished in the next six months - supply chain issues that have long plagued construction projects are beginning to correct and he said he expects things to move quickly.

"Just about everything was on a slow delivery coming out of COVID, but this, now, is a good time to build," Pate said.

For more exclusive stories about restaurant and retail development, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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