Dayton Business Journal - Friday, January 2, 2009
Fricker’s inks Miller Lane lease
Company to shell out $500K for renovations at former Joe’s Crab Shack
Business Journal - by Tom Demeropolis DBJ Staff Reporter
A formerly vacant restaurant on Miller Lane
will soon be home to one of Dayton’s most
popular chicken wing restaurants.
Fricker’s USA has signed a 10-year lease for
the former Joe’s Crab Shack location on Miller
The Dayton-based wing-and-beer joint will
spend around $500,000 to remodel the 6,000-
Paul Curtis, director of franchising and human
resources for Fricker’s, said he expects the new
Fricker’s to be open March 17, just in time for
“That’s our best time of year,” Curtis said.
Curtis said the restaurant will employ about 100 employees,
between full- and part-time workers.
A Toledo construction company is handling the remodeling work, but Curtis said several
local companies are doing sub-contracting work.
Because the space formerly housed a restaurant, Curtis said most of the work will focus on
making it look like a Fricker’s.
The exterior of the building will be the biggest challenge, changing it from the barnaclecovered
crab shack into the primary color splashed red, blue and yellow that has become
On the inside, a number of flat screen TVs will be installed, as well as a children’s play
Alex Kolodesh, a partner with Oakwood-based Singer Properties and the developer of
York Commons, said the casual, more family-friendly place will fill a segment of the
restaurant market that Miller Lane is missing.
Kolodesh said the area may not have a lot of people living close by, but restaurants and
retailers benefit from proximity to Interstates 70 and 75, residential neighborhoods to the
north and more than 1,600 hotel rooms along Miller Lane.
The Miller Lane area saw a hiccup in its restaurant business early last year. In the first two
months of the year, three Miller Lane restaurants shut their doors, including Joe’s Crab
Shack. Butler Township Administrator Joe Flanagan said he didn’t think the spaces would
stay vacant as long as they have, but he is glad to see one of the spots filling up.
Other recent restaurant additions in the area include Frisch’s and Chick-fil-A. Miller Lane also boasts a
Golden Corral, Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel and Ruby Tuesday.
While many in the restaurant business are looking at a decrease in patrons, Flanagan said
the new arrivals are a sign the area remains a hot spot.
Kolodesh and Curtis said adding another restaurant to the mix is better for all because it
forces them to be at the top of their game.
“Competition is always a good thing,” Kolodesh said.
Curtis said having more restaurants in one area brings in more potential customers.
“Variety in restaurants attracts people to the area,” he said. “They will just drive up and go
to whatever looks good.”
Fricker’s has about 20 restaurants across Ohio, Michigan and Indiana, including eight in
the Dayton area. The company’s West Carrollton location, which burned down in
September, remains closed. Curtis said he believes the location will be rebuilt, but the
parties involved — the company, landlord and the insurance company — need to reach a
decision on the particulars of the new building.
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