Could new plans for this old site become the city’s next major development?
After sitting vacant for nearly 10 months, the prime property on Manchester Expressway that was the longtime home for Logan’s Roadhouse is getting a distinctly new flavor of restaurant — and peanuts in the shell won’t be found anywhere.
An Atlanta restaurant group has purchased the nearly 2-acre parcel of land that includes the 8,541-square-foot building that Logan’s inhabited more than two decades prior to closing its doors suddenly in late February of this year.
City records show 2643 Manchester LLC bought the property from Palisades, Calif.-based Post Properties LLC on Oct. 18, paying $2,280,000. City building permits have $250,000 initially being spent to get the new restaurant ready.
Jade Cheong, a Realtor with KW Commercial’s Buckhead office in Atlanta, is the registered agent for the purchasing limited liability corporation, but not a partner in the Columbus venture. She said the projected opening for the new restaurant is in April.
“The concept is Korean barbecue,” Cheong said Monday by phone. “It’s similar to a steakhouse. It’s been very successful in the Atlanta area … You use different sauces. They will marinate beef and then you can cook it on the table.”
Logan’s was known for its menu of mesquite wood-grilled steaks, chicken, seafood, burgers, sandwiches and buckets of peanuts that customers shelled and nibbled on while waiting for their orders. But its customer service floundered toward the end of its run.
“As far as the Korean barbecue concept, it’s pretty famous in big cities like Atlanta, L.A., New York. They all have so many different types of Korean barbecue places,” said Cheong, noting the Atlanta restaurant group is comprised of several people, all of them owning successful restaurants in the diverse mega-market. Decatur, Alpharetta and Duluth — the latter city home to a large Asian population — all have very good Korean barbecue restaurants, she said.
Cheong pointed to Breakers Korean Grill & Barbecue in Duluth as a prime example of what Columbus customers should expect when the new restaurant opens in a few months. Its menu includes beef short ribs, beef bulgogi, beef dduck galbi, pork belly, pork ribs, chicken, Chilean sea bass, twin lobster tail, jumbo prawns and scallops, galbi tang (soup with beef short ribs), kimchi jjigae (stew) and naeng-myeon (cold noodles). While there is no buffet, it does offer an all-you-can-eat option on its menu.
The Realtor said work that is now taking place includes gutting everything in the former Logan’s building, with special ventilation expected to be installed to make sure that customers aren’t impacted by the smell of the food cooking at their tables. She also said a specific name for the restaurant hasn’t been set yet.
“I also don’t have the details to how much they’re changing the outside,” she said.
Cheong did say the heavily trafficked Manchester Expressway and its proximity to Interstate 185 was a major selling point for the Korean restaurateurs making their decision to jump into the market. Aside from studying income levels in the city, they also liked the fact that Columbus is home to a military base, she said. Tours of duty in South Korea are commonplace for soldiers moving through Fort Benning.
Logan’s had been open since 1996, with it first appearing on Muscogee County real-estate tax records in June of that year when it bought the property from Chesser Enterprises Inc. Records show it began leasing the 8,781-square-foot structure in 2006.
Nashville, Tenn.-based Logan’s, owned by private equity firm Kelso & Company, filed for bankruptcy protection in August 2016. It then targeted more than 20 of its more than 250 restaurants for closure, including three in the Georgia cities of Albany, Brunswick and Savannah. The chain, founded in 1991, exited bankruptcy in December 2016.