Though the Richland restaurant intended to anchor Swift Boulevard corridor development has closed, the owner said the site would be great for another eatery.
Dupus Boomer’s shuttered its doors on Christmas Eve after operating for about a year and a half.
“We had a good business. We just overbuilt the space,” said Greg Markel, owner of the restaurant and Markel Properties/Washington Securities and Investment Corp. “Another business in there will do very, very good though.”
Located adjacent to the new $18.5 million Richland City Hall under construction at 502 Swift Blvd., the site at the corner of George Washington Way and Swift Boulevard is a desirable, highly visible spot along one of the busy Hanford commute routes.
[blockquote quote="We just spent too much money trying to make (Dupus Boomer’s) a one-of-a-kind restaurant … our volume couldn’t support it." source="Greg Markel, owner of the restaurant and Markel Properties/Washington Securities and Investment Corp" align="right" max_width="300px"]
The next business to take over the space will have the opportunity to headline the Swift corridor project, an initiative to connect Richland’s downtown area to the Columbia River by building up visitor resources and amenities.
The original city hall building is scheduled to be demolished and the remaining space marketed commercially. City officials report that inquiries from developers and realtors are already coming in for the site.
Markel said he has four or five people interested in the restaurant space who all have a background in either the restaurant or night club industry. He said it will most likely become another restaurant.
The 7,500-square-foot building features a wraparound, all-season outdoor deck on the upper level. The original purchase and sale agreement for the site allows for the remodel or repurposing of the building.
In 2013, Markel and his wife, Carla, and son, Shane, played a pivotal role in contributing to the Swift corridor project when they bought a sizeable chunk of the 500 block from the city.
They committed to demolishing an existing 1966 strip mall and converted the former 21,000-square-foot parking lot into three modern buildings to house several businesses.
One of those buildings, on the corner of Swift and Jadwin Avenue, is home to Taco Time/Go Green Salads and Jimmy John’s, which all continue to thrive, Markel said.
“We just spent too much money trying to make (Dupus Boomer’s) a one-of-a-kind restaurant … our volume couldn’t support it,” Markel said. “You can only charge so much for a … buffalo burger.”
Markel retains the trademark and copyright to the Dupus Boomer cartoon character created in the mid-1940s who embodies the bumbling government-issue Hanford worker, and the cartoon illustrated the frustrations of living and working at the Hanford site. It became an icon of the early Hanford era.
“I would sure like to see Dupus make it in Richland somewhere,” Markel said. “We had some very loyal … customers; some were in there almost every day. I’m just sorry … that we can’t stay open for people like that, and I wish them the best.”
A sign posted on the restaurant’s door thanked customers and employees for their support:
“It is with regret that we will be closing Dupus Boomer’s. We want to thank all the loyal guests and the community for their support during our time open. We also want to thank the great employees for their commitment and dedication. It’s been a pleasure to serve you.”
The third building on the 500 block site, which faces Jadwin Avenue, was to house a new Markel Properties real estate office, but the 2,600-square-foot space is now on the market for lease as well, with interior finishing work soon to be completed. Johnson and Orr Law Firm is a tenant there.
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