BATH TOWNSHIP — It’s official. Another Beer Barrel is coming to town.
Rumors of an additional restaurant on the east side of Lima have been floating around town since John Heaphy’s Good Food Restaurants bought 2755 Harding Highway, but after attending an Allen County Commissioners meeting Thursday to seek a tax abatement on the project, Heaphy confirmed that GFR is moving forward with the $3.8 million project to flip an old 11,000-square-foot Tractor Supply Co. into the latest Beer Barrel restaurant.
The restaurant is expected to be up and running by April of next year.
An attached Superior Credit Union Real Estate office will also included in the building.
This latest Beer Barrel will be the third in the local region and the eighth owned by GFR, which also operates Old City Prime and Happy Daz. Other Beer Barrels have also been established in Hilliard, Findlay, St. Marys and Maumee.
Heaphy said such expansions have been beneficial for the local region as more dollars are siphoned from outside Allen County into the local economy. He encouraged other local entrepreneurs to do the same and use such dollars to benefit the larger community.
As for the tax abatement, Allen County commissioners approved the request of a 50% abatement over a 10-year period on the project’s local taxes if the project creates 25 full-time and 55 part-time jobs and generates $1.1 million in new payroll.
Heaphy said the abatement will help Beer Barrel remain profitable as it settles into the market. Restaurants are known for having slim margins, in general, and a reduced tax burden will help the company deal with the initial front-loaded costs of outfitting the building, he said.
“Beer Barrel and Good Food Restaurants is continuing to expand in Allen County and continuing to build our employment base. With our current levels, we have 300 employees. In better days, we push 400,” Heaphy said.
Allen Economic Development Group President Dave Stratton said the abatement aligns with the county’s three economic development goals — attraction of new businesses, retention of current businesses and the creation of jobs — and consequently, the abatement received AEDG’s full support.
Currently, three other restaurants have tax abatement agreements with local governments. They are Buffalo Wild Wings, The Met and Fat Jack’s Pizza. Most of the other local tax abatement agreements are held by manufacturers.
Once completed, the latest Beer Barrel will be one of the few restaurants actually located within Bath Township. While there are plenty of eateries on Harding Highway’s south side in Perry Township, the number in Bath can be counted on one hand, and almost all of them are local chains.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.