During nearly 15 years in real estate development, Jeff Hachquet (’00) has worked with properties across Las Vegas. But no project has been as fulfilling — or as delicious — as welcoming two food-lovers’ destinations to a plot of North Las Vegas land that has belonged to his family for decades.
In October 2016, Hachquet celebrated a years-in-the-making opening of a Cracker Barrel on his family’s property just off Interstate 15, where it joined an In-N-Out Burger that opened six years earlier. In a relatively short span of time, the two iconic restaurant chains — the latter known for its West Coast roots and the former known for being in most parts of the country except for the West Coast — have made the family’s long-empty land into a destination for locals and passing-through travelers alike. They’ve also been a particularly satisfying business accomplishment for Hachquet, a Biola communications studies graduate with an emphasis in advertising.
During the day, Hachquet manages commercial real estate for SK+G, an advertising agency in Las Vegas. And for the last decade, he has used his off hours to bring together his passions for his family’s land, his background in advertising and his experience in property development.
Shortly after 9/11, Hachquet lost his advertising job in southern California and moved home to Las Vegas. While working in advertising for a small real estate developer, he asked the owner to mentor him in more aspects of the business. After several years learning the ins and outs of commercial real estate, he began his current job at SK+G.
But long before Hachquet’s interest in real estate, his grandfather, Eddie Morgan, bought up land around the Las Vegas valley in hopes of developing them one day. After Morgan’s death from pancreatic cancer in 1988, some parcels were eventually sold, but Hachquet inherited his grandfather’s vision for what remained.
Over the years, when Hachquet wasn’t managing SK+G’s properties, he sought out ground leases for his grandparents’ land. In 2007, he and his mom crafted a solicitation to Cracker Barrel encouraging them to look at the land. Cracker Barrel declined, and they declined again in 2010, but the family was encouraged when In-N-Out Burger signed a lease.
Hachquet continued working his day job, raising his children with his wife, Amy (Dye, ’02), and pursuing development deals. In 2014, as the family prepared to sign a lease with another tenant, Cracker Barrel called. Within four hours they had an offer, and in October 2016 the first Cracker Barrel in North Las Vegas opened and quickly became their second busiest location nationwide.
“For me, this is a way to continue my grandpa’s legacy,” said Hachquet, who is still looking for one final tenant to add to the property. “It’s allowing me to be a steward of what God has blessed our family with. God has a plan, and he brings the right people in, if you just surrender to him.”