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Published: Wednesday, 11/9/2011 - Updated: 2 years ago

Co-owners of Docks eatery test the waters

Restaurant property listed on eBay

BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER

Although it opened at The Docks restaurant complex in East Toledo just seven months ago, Admiral’s American Grille restaurant is now up for sale.

Well, sort of.

Mike Howard, general manager of Admiral’s, which replaced the former Navy Bistro at The Docks, said the restaurant is doing fine financially, but they are “exploring options” by listing the business for sale.

If a budding restaurateur is willing to meet the owners’ asking price, he said, it will be sold, but the owners are quite content to continue operating the restaurant.

Admiral’s, at 26 Main St., is owned by Mr. Howard’s brother, Habib, and their first cousin Mike McKarus. The family owns several businesses.

“Everything is for sale, but we are doing just fine. The bills are all paid, the rent is current, and the restaurant is doing just fine,” Mike Howard said. “We’re just throwing it out there and seeing what happens. As it turns out, we have gotten a lot of interest from people interested in purchasing it.”

Admiral’s American Grille recently was listed for sale in an advertisement on online auction site eBay.com, and it also was listed on LoopNet, a commercial real estate Web site.

On eBay, the asking price for the 16,447-square-foot restaurant, which includes a 3,000-square-foot banquet facility, is $895,000.

The business, officially known as The Docks Venture LLC, has 30 employees and a signed 25-year lease with Dashing Pacific Group Ltd., a U.S. corporation formed by Chinese investors Yuan Xiaohong and Wu Kin Hung.

A spokesman for the landlord, Dan Gallerno, told The Blade that Dashing Pacific just learned of the sale notices for the restaurant, but said, “We’ve not had any kind of in-depth discussions about it.”

He said the landlord would like a tenant that’s happy with the location but believes Admiral’s American Grille is doing well financially.

Mr. Gallerno said there have been many parties interested in space at The Docks, so it is unconcerned about having an empty restaurant there.

Dashing Pacific purchased The Docks from the city of Toledo in April for $2.15 million.

Michael Gibbons, chief executive officer of Main Street Ventures Ltd., of Ann Arbor, which owns the Real Seafood Co. restaurant at The Docks, said he was contacted three months ago by the Howard family to gauge whether he had any interest in buying Admiral’s American Grille.

“I told him I was interested in it before they took over. But at this point I’m not interested,” he said.

Mr. Gibbons said he was surprised to learn that the restaurant was listed for sale on eBay.

“I’ve never heard of someone doing that. I’ve never bought a restaurant on eBay, although I’ve bought a lot of other things on eBay,” he said.

Steve Serchuk, a commercial real estate agent and retail specialist with the Toledo office of Signature Associates, said he was surprised that the restaurant was for sale and that it was being marketed on eBay. “That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me,” he said.

Pete Shawaker, a commercial real estate agent with CB Richard Ellis/Reichle Klein, said why not use eBay.

“I’m not aware of anybody selling a business or real estate on eBay. I have heard of people selling real estate on Craig’s List,” he said. “But in commercial real estate, the more exposure the better. So I guess that makes sense.”

Mr. Howard said that if the family were really trying to unload Admiral’s American Grille, it would have hired a commercial realty firm to heavily market the property.

“But we’re not actively selling. We’re just throwing it out there to explore our options.”

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.



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