Two Roads owners planning new restaurant

August 15, 2004|TODD KLEFFMAN

Tired of waiting for the expected restaurant/bar boom in Danville, Two Roads Cafe owner Jerry Houck and new partner Shane White are planning to take matters into their own hands.

Their new business venture, Danville Restaurant Group, is looking to open a new eatery, sports bar and catering operation near the intersection of Perryville Road and the U.S. 127 Bypass, and is in the process of gathering investors. Though the proposed establishment does not yet have a name, location or clearly defined menu, Houck said he is "about 70 percent sure at this point" that the concept will become a reality, perhaps before the end of the year.

"Two Roads has been extremely successful in it's five years and we want to use that as a springboard for other ventures, Houck said. "We're looking for investors to leverage the success of this restaurant into the next opportunity. ."

Two Roads Cafe has been sold to Danville Restaurant Group and will remain open downtown with a little remodeling to add a patio and a better space for live entertainment, Houck said. Kathy Crown-Weber, who founded Two Roads with Houck, left the business at the end of last month.


Houck and White said their first order of business is to hire an executive chef for restaurant group and get a new dining establishment opened. They said they are currently trying to negotiate a deal to move into the Danville Convention Center while also considering other locations in that area.

The plans call for a seating capacity for between 150 to 200 customers with an in-house sports bar that will play, in part, on Danville's "Title Town" status in high school football. The menu and theme have not yet been fully realized, but the new venue will be less sophisticated and pricey than Two Roads. Houck said it's likely to offer entree-and-three-sides style Southern comfort foods to appeal to the lunch crowd at nearby factories and also a creative sandwich and appetizer menu to attract customers from the Convention Center's cinema and bingo hall.

"It will still maintain the quality that Two Roads has a reputation for, just at lower price points," White said.

In the future, the restaurant group plans to add other eateries to its family, both in Danville and in neighboring communities, that would offer dining experiences with local flavor and character to balance the homogeneity found at franchised restaurant chains.

The Danville market is ripe for such growth, Houck said. After waiting for popular chain operations like O'Charley's to flock to town after the city voted to allow alcohol sales and watching nothing but rumors materialize, Houck and White want to stir that pot themselves.

"It was exciting when Cracker Barrel and Applebee's came to town, because the more restaurants clustered together, the better they all do," Houck said. "Every time you drive by one of those franchise places, the parking lot is full and people are waiting in line, so the opportunity is there for more restaurants. We're trying to put something in that has local personality. We want a bigger piece of the pie."

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