DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - Three local, independently-owned restaurants have signed on to join the Austin Landing development in 2013.
Rue Dumaine, The Dublin Pub and newcomer Alligator Annie's all plan to open at the Miami Twp. Development in early 2013. Rue Dumaine will move from its current location on Miamisburg-Centerville Road, while The Dublin Pub will keep its downtown location and open the Austin Landing restaurant as a second location. Alligator Annie's, which will be a new concept from the founders of Rue Dumaine, will open its first location at Austin Landing.
"It couldn't be a more perfect restaurant location," said Steve Tieber, one of the proprietors of The Dublin Pub. "With the parking and access to the highway. We'll be putting ourselves in a location with a lot of people in close proximity and great access; it's a slam dunk."
Randy Gunlock, president of RG Properties, the commercial real estate firm developing Austin Landing, said it is fitting that the first restaurants to open at Austin Landing will be independents.
"There is a great history of creativity and innovation in our city, and a long line of great independent restaurants we want reflected at Austin Landing," Gunlock said. "Independent restaurants offer a unique experience and reflect the soul of the region-a feeling we hope to capture at Austin Landing."
Amy Zahora, executive director of the Miami Valley Restaurant Association, said independent restaurants add to the spirit of the community by offering something that patrons cannot find anywhere else.
"You cannot go to Chicago and experience the same thing you can here," Zahora said. "The great thing about independent restaurants is they all have their individual menus and environments, and it's something that cannot be replicated. We have a lot here in the community; each one is different, and it's not like anything you can find anywhere else."
Work is set to begin this year on construction of the restaurants, and RG is looking toward a spring of 2013 opening date for each. Rue Dumaine and Alligator Annie's will locate in a 10,600 square-foot building. The Dublin Pub will be in a 6,000 square-foot building. Among all three operations, it is estimated the restaurants will create close to 140 new jobs for the region.
Thomas Sand Jr. and Chef Anne Kearney, founder and chef/co-founder of Rue Dumaine, hope to use their location at Austin Landing as a way build on their passion for food and a good experience.
"When you walk out of our restaurants at Austin Landing, I want you to say you had an experience," Sand said. "We try to create a place where you can go and be treated the way you want to be treated, experience good food and good service, refresh and rejuvenate yourself and let the worries of the day disappear."
Rue Dumaine will continue serving the American bistro fare inspired by French cuisine for which it has become known, while Alligator Annie's will take the form of a casual Southern-style social club and will offer lunch and dinner service 7 days a week.
Since their departure from New Orleans, Sand and Kearney said they have enjoyed becoming part of the Dayton community and sharing a bit of themselves with anyone looking for a good meal. They said they look at the choice to open at Austin Landing as a decision to put down roots in a community setting in which everyone is there to benefit each other.
"We are making a commitment to this village, city, state and region we call home." Sand said. "This venue will allow us to showcase the partnerships we have formed with our nearly 100 vendors, local farmers and artisans and provide our present and future clientele with more food options. We look forward to exploring all the possibilities."
Tieber said The Dublin Pub is similarly excited about the possibilities.
"Since the day we opened up, we've always had a focus on expansion and growth," Tieber said. "We know that a lot of restaurants make mistakes with expansions, but we're doing this right. We knew with Austin Landing coming, it would be a perfect fit for a pub location."
Tieber said The Dublin Pub would be partnering with other local restaurateurs Dan Apolito and Mike Fullenkamp of Archer's Tavern with the intention to create their flagship Irish Pub with hopes of a multi-pub chain expansion.
"Dan and Mike have over 40 years of corporate restaurant experience between them. We knew combining our talents and over 60 years of experience would make the transition and growth to a second location successful," Tieber said.
He said the newest location of The Dublin Pub would have the same beloved recipes and provide the same atmosphere and live music as the original Downtown Dayton location, making it a great fit for the Austin Landing development.
"We're blessed with being a restaurant that caterers to a lot of different crowds," Tieber said. "We are one of the few restaurant concepts that can transition well from being a perfect location for lunch for the business crowd and dinners during the week to becoming more of a bar atmosphere on the weekend."
Gunlock said the restaurants all stand to benefit from the Austin Landing location, which will allow them an opportunity for a far higher level of access and exposure to a far larger population so they can best show off the creativity and innovation for which they've come to be known.
"Rue Dumaine and The Dublin Pub have garnered excellent reputations throughout the community, and Alligator Annie's is poised to follow suit, making all three restaurants a perfect fit with Austin Landing," Gunlock said. "We all want a unique experience when we go out, and Austin Landing will be the place where people will come to enjoy that experience. "
Gunlock said RG Properties is active in conversations with a number of other restaurants, working to bring the best mix to the Austin Landing development. He said the company is targeting small and large chains as well as independents and hopes to settle on between four and five full-service restaurants and four and five fast-casual restaurants.
"It's an exciting time to be able to write the story of what Austin Landing will become," Gunlock said.
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