No deal yet: Progress being made, Harter House owner says

Friday, August 31, 2018

Harter House’s expansion into Berryville isn’t a done deal, Brad Bettlach said Thursday, but it’s closer to reality than it was two or three weeks ago.

“The answer is definitely not ‘no,’ ” said Bettlach, who owns Harter House stores in Strafford and Shell Knob, Mo., with his wife, Angela.

“It’s not a done deal, but we are still in negotiations with what’s the right thing to do,” Bettlach said. “… We are closer now than we were two to three weeks ago.”

Bettlach said talks are continuing regarding the space formerly occupied by the Price Cutter grocery store in the Williams Shopping Center.

The shopping center is owned by former Harrison mayor Jeff Crockett, who said Thursday that property manager Tim Poyner last spoke with Bettlach on Friday, Aug. 24.

“He had several points that he wanted to discuss and we have not heard back from him since then,” Crockett said. “We’re waiting on him.”

Among the items Bettlach wanted to address was an inspection of the property, Crockett said, adding that he had no objection to an inspection.

Bettlach had said previously that two options for bringing a Harter House store to Berryville were to buy a piece of land and build a new store or move into an existing structure such as the former Price Cutter location. That location likely will need extensive renovations, which could be a sticking point in negotiations.

“It’s going to take some stars aligning,” Bettlach said.

Meanwhile, Crockett has had the shopping center’s parking lot repaved and painted. He said part of the motivation for that work was the negotiations with Harter House and part was simply a need to upgrade the property and seal some cracks in the existing pavement.

Price Cutter, which had been owned and operated by Harps Foods, closed in March and the space formerly occupied by the store has been vacant since then.

Bettlach is a grandson of Harter House founders Jerry and Barbara Bettlach. Harter House has seven locations in southwest Missouri and is already popular among Carroll County residents who visit the Shell Knob and Kimberling City locations.

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