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Lee set to open Rally’s restaurant in Middlesboro

The Bell County community is always excited when a new restaurant comes to town. By the end of the year, Middlesboro will have a new place to go for fast food. Rose Hill, Va. native Wesley Lee and his family are bringing Rally’s Drive-In to the city.

“Middlesboro has a lot of great things going for it. You have shopping (and) you have a lot of businesses,” said Lee.

Another reason why Lee, who is a 2003 MHS graduate, wanted to bring the restaurant to Middlesboro is because he wanted to bring a new business and jobs to a town he holds close to him.

“I’m very big on customer service, and I just wanted to bring something new to Middlesboro and something new to a town that I spent so much of my youth in and is very important to me,” said Lee.

The MHS graduate said what makes Rally’s a good fit for the community is that it offers a new taste and flavor to the city. He said they have the best fries “hands down” and a plethora of options to choose from.

“What makes it such a great fit for the area is the wide variety of the menu,” said Lee. “You have everything from your stackers, your monster type…burgers, and you have smaller portions too. But, you also have things such as bone-in and bone-out wings. It’s just a wide open menu.”

Another moving point for the restaurant is the price.

“The economy may be booming, but everybody can’t go out and spend $30 bucks…on lunch every day,” said Lee. “A man or woman that’s working and has kids needs to watch their budget, and the price point is just really great for the area. It’s a good meal at a good price.”

As far as location goes, the Lee family already owned the building — which he described as “huge.” In addition to that, the restaurant is located along U.S. 25E across from the mall.

“What I really like about the location is it’s unique. You sit up on a hill a little bit, and you can look out and see some of Middlesboro,” said Lee. “As with any business, it’s all about location.”

For the Lee family, this is not their first venture into the restaurant business. After a seven-year stint as a teacher at Claiborne High School, Wesley went into the family business working for Lee’s Food Mart. Once he was in the family business, they wanted to expand into the food service industry.

“After doing a lot of searching, we decided that a really great brand…would be the Checkers and Rally’s restaurants,” said Lee. “About a year into the planning process, we opened our first restaurant in Sevierville (off) exit 407. It’s a Checkers. Then two and a half years after that we started on the current project we’re going to open in Middlesboro.”

The new restaurant is set to open between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1.