Steak house lease: $3K monthly

Published 1:55 am Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Andalusia City Council approved a contract with Big Mike’s Restaurant Andalusia, LLC that Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson called a “win, win, win.”

At present, the city is renovating the Andala building in downtown Andalusia to house the upscale steak house. A previous agreement called for a $100,000 up-front investment from the company, with the city recouping a portion of its estimated $800,000 investment through fees on gross sales.

The council previously had approved a contract, but the company asked to renegotiate the lease after there were organizational changes in the company. The new contract, enacted under Alabama Constitutional Amendment 725, allows the city to recover every dime of investment, Johnson said.

“The tenant will pay rent to the city monthly in the amount of $3,000,” Johnson said. “They will pay that in cash for 266 months. On the 267th month, they will pay $2,000 in cash and have the right to purchase the property for $100.”

The payments total $800,000 over the more than 18 years of the contract.

There are no tax incentives in the agreement for Big Mike’s, Johnson said. The restaurant also will be part of a downtown dining and entertainment district, through which the city will receive an addition 2 percent fee for gross sales for the life of the contract.

The company also owns Big Mike’s in Thomasville, Ala., and draw customers from as far away as Mississippi. Their menu will be very much like the Thomasville location, they said in January. That menu offers a ribeye, New York Strip, or filet mignon, and they can be served smothered with caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms, with fried or grilled shrimp, or with lump crab meat. On the seafood side, the menu includes Ahi tuna, chicken, and fresh Gulf Coast shrimp or oysters. They also will serve oysters on the half shell.

The restaurant is expected to produce annual sales of approximately $2 million, and will have 30 to 35 employees.

In other business, the council agreed to enter a contract with Goodwyn Mills and Cawood to have engineers determine why there are erosion problems behind Westgate Plaza.

“They will review and make recommendations on what it will take to solve the problem,” Johnson said. “If it’s not our responsibility; If it’s our responsibility, we’ll go in there and try to fix it.