Big Mike’s to serve steaks, seafood [with drawings of interiors]

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For years, those who work in economic development – both from the city and county level, as well as private investors – have worked to get a steakhouse to Andalusia.

There have been many conversations with franchises, and much frustration on the part of those trying to convince a company to locate here.

But all the while, owners of the new, upscale restaurant included in Tuesday’s downtown redevelopment announcement were looking at Andalusia.

“They came to us and said, ‘We want to locate a restaurant in your city,’ ” Mayor Earl Johnson said. “They looked at several locations and settled on this building.”

The announcement was made in the building that will become Big Mike’s Steakhouse, known locally as the Andala building. It is located just off the Square, behind the Timmerman building.

“Literally, thousands of people have worked in this building,” Johnson said of the building which once housed a sewing factory. “But it’s been empty for more than 30 years.”

Owners Mike Cole, Scott Powell and Caine Conway also own 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. 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.

Johnson said the restaurant will employ 30 people, including two managers who are relocating to Andalusia for the project.

“Big Mike’s is a destination in Thomasville,” the mayor said. “People drive from all over to eat there, and we have the same expectation here.”

Brad Pugh, who will be one of the local managers, said the restaurant is open Wednesday through Saturday nights, and also offers specials on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

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