Docks restaurant sold at auction

Father-and-son duo submit only bid for former Admiral’s American Grille

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    Exterior of the Admiral's American Grill.

    The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
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  • The former Admiral’s American Grill will be turned into a steak house-style bistro. The new owners plan to open in December.
    The former Admiral’s American Grill will be turned into a steak house-style bistro. The new owners plan to open in December.

    There’s new life in store for the former Admiral’s American Grill, which was sold at auction Tuesday for $198,000.

    The former eatery and banquet center at The Docks complex in East Toledo was auctioned off to a father-and-son duo who plan to turn it into a steakhouse-style bistro. The restaurant should open its doors by mid-December, said Jonathan McQueary, who will serve as its manager and operate it with his father.

    “This is a great area right here on The Docks. We’ve got the water right here,” he said. “It has great opportunity, and we look forward to serving the Toledo market.”

    The menu will change, but it’s unclear how drastically it will differ from what Admiral’s offered, Mr. McQueary said. The decor of the restaurant also will undergo slight changes but shouldn’t be unfamiliar to customers who dined at Admiral’s, which closed Sept. 30.

    “We’re not going to make a lot of changes, because obviously it is very nice the way it is right now,” he said. “There is a lot of cleaning that needs to be done. It’s not going to be a big restoration process, that’s for sure.”

    A name still is in the works, Mr. McQueary said, adding that the restaurant will need about 50 to 60 employees. An open-interview process will be conducted in the coming weeks for kitchen staff, bartenders, and cleaning crews.

    Admiral’s was in operation for less than a year and a half, and the restaurant’s space previously housed the Navy Bistro.

    Admiral’s owners, who did business as Docks Venture LLC, blamed their struggles partly on a lease dispute with Dashing Pacific Group Ltd., which owns The Docks complex.

    Docks Venture turned the lease and the restaurant’s contents over to Genoa Bank, which used Pamela Rose Auction Company to conduct Tuesday’s auction. The winning — and only — bid for Admiral’s included everything inside the restaruant, as well as its liquor licenses.

    A sublease granted to El Vaquero was removed from the auction, allowing the Mexican restaurant to continue operating in its space at The Docks. Luis Melendez, part owner of El Vaquero, said it’s unclear if the restaurant will lease or buy its space.

    “We will start to make a deal,” he said.

    Pamela Rose, head of Pamela Rose Auction Company, said she hoped the auction would be the beginning of a profitable business, and marks an amicable resolution to Admiral’s closing its doors.

    “Today’s auction was a success because it has identified a quality individual who desires to put a landmark restaurant in our region. They are very excited about it; they are enthusiastic,” she said. “One thing about an auction is it really brings everything to a head. Something needs to happen here and this is going to allow everything to move forward.”

    Contact Kris Turner at: or 419-724-6103.