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Medieval Times headed to Gwinnett

Discover Mills is going medieval.

The Lawrenceville mall that always billed itself as nontraditional has landed an unusual anchor tenant. It's a nearly 90,000-square-foot restaurant housed in a medieval castle, where customers wear paper crowns, eat meals with their hands and watch knights joust.

Medieval Times - based in California - will raise the curtain on its newest version of Gothic dinner theater next summer at Discover Mills. The mall will be the site of the first Medieval Times restaurant in metro Atlanta and the ninth location in the United States.

The chain's Dark Ages schtick takes customers back to a version of Camelot, where knights battle on horses in a foggy arena, and a "king" stops the action to issue birthday proclamations to members of the audience. The restaurant has been popularized in the Jim Carey movie "The Cable Guy," and more recently on the MTV reality series "The Ashlee Simpson Show."

Hitachi Power Tools

wants to expand

Jackson County may soon see yet another expansion of a major industry.

Hitachi Power Tools wants to more than double the size of its 80,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center near Jefferson, according to plans filed with the state earlier this month. The project would add 112,000 square feet of warehouse space to the Hitachi building in the Walnut Fork Industrial Park on U.S. Highway 129.

Hitachi is the latest company to announce expansions in the Jefferson area. Kubota is also adding 400,000 square feet of warehouse and distribution capacity in the McClure Industrial Park on Ga. Highway 82.

Jefferson City Manager David Clabo said the industrial development is spurred in part by the rapid population growth father down Interstate 85 and recent expansions of the sewer treatment plant.

"This area is primed to continue developing," Clabo said. "We are a major corridor going into northeast Georgia - and that certainly helps us."

Scientific Atlanta,

CheckFree post solid gains

Two Gwinnett companies had solid financial performances in their most recent fiscal quarters.

Lawrenceville-based Scientific Atlanta said earnings improved to $61.7 million, or 40 cents per share, in the January through March period. CheckFree in Norcross posted $15.6 million in net income during its third quarter, versus 7 percent in the same period a year ago.

Doug Sams can be reached via e-mail at doug.sams@gwinnettdailypost.com.