Quaker Steak & Lube targets former Damon's Grill site
JANESVILLE — A Madison real estate development company with significant interests in Janesville has bought a vacant building and plans to lease it as a Quaker Steak & Lube franchise, a popular restaurant chain with more than 45 stores in the country.
Sara Investment Real Estate bought the former Damon's Grill at 3111 Wellington Place on Friday from an Ohio-company, said Mandy Witt, a broker with Coldwell Banker Commercial/ McGuire Mears & Associates who was involved in the sale.
Traci Dalsin, executive vice president of Sara, said her company will lease the property to Sting Ray Hospitality Group, which currently operates Quaker Steak & Lube franchises in Middleton, Madison and New Berlin.
Scott Acker, president of Sting Ray, was unavailable Monday for comment on his plans for the Janesville restaurant.
Founded in 1974, Quaker Steak & Lube is a family friendly restaurant with a motorsports-themed atmosphere. Commonly referred to as "The Lube," the restaurant "features a unique blend of great service, award-winning food, supercharged events and eye-popping décor," according to its website.
The original Quaker Steak & Lube was built in an abandoned gas station in Sharon, Penn., as a cook-your-own steak restaurant, according to the website. After a visit to the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, N.Y., the owners added chicken wings to the menu. The restaurant has won more than 100 national and international awards for its wings and sauces.
Dalsin said Sting Ray will make significant renovations to the nearly 8,000-square-foot building. She was uncertain when the restaurant would open.
"We're very excited about it," she said. "It's a great location, and we think it will do really well in Janesville."
Damon's closed in May 2010, the result of what operators said at the time was a difficult economy. At one time, the Janesville restaurant was one of five Damon's in Wisconsin. It focused on casual fare in either a quiet dining room or in its clubhouse with a multi-screen entertainment system offering sports, network programming and interactive games.