In the coming year, Liberty Hill residents can expect to see at least four more fast food chains open, particularly along Hwy. 29.

The big picture

Pizza Hut, Panda Express, Popeyes and Wendy's are set to join the city's slate of existing fast food offerings, which include McDonald's, Dairy Queen and Golden Chick.

Director of Economic Development Mary Poche' said fast food chains are flocking to Liberty Hill not only because it’s a fast growing area, but also because it has a major corridor, Hwy. 29, running through it.

“[Fast food chains] are going to come where they know the people are coming,” she said. “Concurrently to that, Hwy. 29 is a major thoroughfare. It’s just kind of a perfect storm for that.”

What residents are saying

Many residents are pushing back on the trend, citing the desire to keep Liberty Hill’s “small-town charm” through supporting local, mom-and-pop establishments rather than major corporations.

“I personally would prefer more local restaurants over fast food, not just for health benefits, but because of our family and community benefits,” Liberty Hill resident Rhona Sylvester said.

However, Bailey Wieland, a mom of four young kids, said she appreciates the convenience of fast food, in spite of her love for local, smaller restaurants.

“My kids are all in sports and after-school activities, and we don’t always have time to go sit down at a restaurant,” she said.

The bottom line

Poche' said while the city is not actively seeking fast food chains, they are also not discouraging them.

However, she said, city leaders are very conscious about what the public would like to see and are aware that residents want more restaurants.

“There’s still quite a bit of land that’s for sale,” she said. “I talk to restaurants and various restaurateurs, but it’s not going to happen overnight. It's coming, believe me.”