The Buffalo Grill restaurant, at 3 W. Oak, is being repurposed.
After closing almost a decade ago, it has been used for special events.
But if all the plans fall into place, Dave Lipe said the restaurant will change to an upscale barbeque place in December.
Lipe and Luther Salisberry will be the restaurant owners and have just signed a five-year lease from building owner Al Niece which includes the River Room Event Center on the second floor.
Luther’s BBQ is the name of the new restaurant.
“We are shooting for Dec. 1 (opening date),” Lipe said. “I’ve got to have a lot of things put in place (before then). There is not much to do in the restaurant. We need to get a liquor license and some equipment and we will be ready to go.”
The new restaurant will seat about 150 people, while the River Room Event Center about 500, Lipe said.
“Our specialty will be burnt ends with specials during the week,” he said. “Pretty much everything will be made from scratch with price ranging from average to up.”
Also available will be pork chops, ribs, steaks, smoked brisket, and pulled pork, he said.
“It will be a gourmet, upper-end-style barbeque, mirrored after Q39 and Stack Jack Restaurants in the Kansas City area,” Lipe said.
The business will be hiring approximately 20-40 people.
“Some part-time,” Lipe said. “During busier times of the year, we’ll have a bigger staff. We’ll start interviewing in late November.”
Things are looking good for the business.
“I’ve already booked four weddings for next year,” he said. “The cost will vary, there are several packages available and full-service catering.”
For the River Room Event Center outside catering will be allowed, he said.