by David A. Mann, Reporter Louisville Business First
When Chris Mike and his wife, Anne Mike, bought Goose Creek Diner about a dozen years ago, it already was established and had a great following.
That’s a wonderful thing that every restaurateur wants.
But it also was a little limiting. It meant they couldn’t make a lot of changes that might upset the regulars of the restaurant, which is near the intersection of Westport Road and Hurstbourne Parkway.
So for their next restaurant, “we wanted to do something that was our own concept,” Mike told me in a recent interview.
That’s exactly what Gander, An American Grill is.
We first mentioned this new place which is leasing about 5,400 square feet in the Landis Lakes TowneCenter, earlier this month. Since then, we’ve had a chance to speak with Mike about his plans for the concept.
Mike’s idea is right there in the name: American. Think steaks, burgers, pasta and sandwiches — “a little bit of everything that makes America what it is,” he said.
He described it as a place someone can go and have a nice dinner without having to worry about breaking the bank.
“I just love the very simple, meat and potatoes,” he said. “Everything’s going to be nice — but nothing froufrou.”
The menu is still being developed, but he foresees burgers priced at $8 to $10, pasta entrees at $12 to $15 and steaks at $20 to $25.
At this point, the concept is planned on paper, but it’ll be a while before you can try one of those entrees.
Mike still needs to get some permits, and there’s lots of work to be done and equipment to be installed at the site, which formerly housed a grab-and-go sandwich shop. The 5,400-square-foot space will seat about 150 once renovations are finished. He plans to hire between 40 and 60 workers.
He expects to open Gander, An American Grill around Mid-July.
Mike said he believes Landis Lakes Towne Center is a great location for the restaurant. The multi-use development is near the intersection of Shelbyville Road and South English Station Road. Other restaurant tenants there include Wild Eggs and Fiesta Time Mexican Grill.
“The traffic and the amount of development that’s going out there is very exciting,” he said.