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Business Pulse - Last Call Sports Grill coming in September
Last Call Sports Grill.jpg
A.J. and D.J. Ramirez stand inside the old Fiesta Ranchera No. 3, which will soon be home to Last Call Sports Grill, a restaurant owned by their grandmother, Buffy Ramirez.

Word on the street a few weeks ago was that a new restaurant would be moving into the former location of Fiesta Ranchera No. 3 on North Chancery Street.

On Friday, that speculation became reality when Buffy Ramirez signed a lease on the property and plans to open Last Call Sports Grill in a little over a month.

“I don’t know if it will be in early September or late September, but I will open in September,” said Buffy.

She’s been eyeing the spot since Fiesta Ranchera closed around the first of the year and never reopened.

“I’m going to have wings, burgers, steak and seafood,” said Buffy. “It will be like Toots or Hooters, something like that. I’ve been talking about doing this ever since Fiesta Ranchera shut down. I’ve been a longtime customer here and I want to keep it going.”

A popular aspect of the location is its spacious patio. Buffy says she’s going to build a bar on the patio and there will be seating for around 55 outdoors. She said having a bar nearby will make serving drinks very convenient for patio customers. She says the plan is to serve both beer and liquor.

“We need something else like that in this town,” she said.

The restaurant remains in fairly good shape, Buffy said, but she’s going to give it a good cleaning, do some remodeling, and then open.

“I’m in good shape because just about everything was left here,” said Buffy. “We’re going to come back and start painting tonight and I’m going to figure out what I’m going to do with this wall,” she said referring to a wooden wall that splits the dining room.

She plans to have TVs for every viewing angle and will be open seven days a week. She says she will stay open till 1 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays if there’s enough business.

“I work all the time in the trucking business so why not be here,” said Buffy.

Their family business, Ramirez Trucking, started with one truck and had as many as 14 trucks in its fleet at the height of business. The company currently operates seven and does trucking all over the U.S.

I knew that building wouldn’t stay vacant for long once owner Erasmo Onate decided he wanted to rent it. The location is great and the parking is ample.

Fiesta Ranchera No. 3 showed a restaurant can thrive at that spot after several meat and threes were stuck in a nasty pattern of opening and closing.

I wish Buffy and her family the best in their latest business endeavor.

New business Coming to Morrison

Nashville businessman Jeff Pennington is now the proud owner of the old McCormick Warehouse building at Mt. View Industrial Park in Morrison.

Industrial Development Board executive director Don Alexander tells me a bottling company will locate at that facility and bring an estimated 25 to 30 jobs. The company would like to be operational by Nov. 1.

I haven’t been able to talk to Mr. Pennington directly to get specifics on the business, but I’ve heard roundabout generalizations about what will be done there. They will take an existing beverage, say vodka, add their personal twist of flavors to it, package it, and resell it. This sort of arrangement is not exclusive to alcohol.

The company, as I understand it, can also help restaurants develop their own drink brands. Let’s say Gary Prater at world-famous Prater’s BBQ wants to have his own brand of vanilla soda, complete with his picture on the bottle. Mr. Pennington’s company can do that.

I hope to have more specific information in the coming weeks. I think a few employees are going to start working on site in August to accommodate the expected opening in November.

I’ll convey more information as soon as I know more, but this seems like a definite plus for our industrial community. It diversifies our workforce and gives us another employer that’s not automotive.

The Detention Adds salad bar

Never before has so much attention surrounded a salad. The Detention at the old Morrison School has created excitement with its allyou- can-eat salad bar for $9.99 that includes drink.

The reason for offering the salad bar is simple.

“I love a good salad bar,” said Bernadette Doud, who owns the business with her husband Dwayne. “Salad bars went away with COVID and they don’t seem to be coming back.”

The Detention first offered the salad bar two weeks ago. It’s complete with tasty fixings like pasta salad, strawberries, grapes, ham, egg and much more.

The response has been strong and I can say this first-hand from watching customer after customer approach the salad bar with empty plate and build their own masterpiece.

“I work in Morrison and it’s nice to have another option other than Prater’s and Medley’s, especially if you want to eat healthy,” said customer Sarah McPeak.

Added customer Larry Williams, “This is already my third time eating here and it’s really good. To get your meal and drink for $10, that’s a value and you won’t leave hungry.”

Dwayne said he had no idea how much people love salad.

“This was her idea,” said Dwayne, point to Bernadette. “I had no idea how much people love salad, but I know now.”

The salad bar is available during restaurant hours. A separate pizza buffet is only available Tuesday thru Friday for lunch between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

So what’s next for The Detention and The Elementary, Warren County’s top spot for family entertainment?

“Our mind is always racing and we’re not done yet,” said Dwayne. “I won’t say too much but I will say we’re looking at adding an outside attraction.”

Dwayne and Bernadette have taken an old school that was left for dead and turned it into a real gem. There’s laser tag, mini golf, bumper cars, and a room buzzing and blinking with video games. Check it out!

Bounce houses Have arrived

Josh and Ashley Roberts hope to bounce their way into the hearts of youngsters in Warren County and beyond.

They’ve opened Warren Bounce House Rentals and have been operational since May.

“We have four so far and we’re waiting on a fifth,” said Ashley. “They are great to liven up a birthday party, a church event, a school event, really any place where there will be kids. They are also good for weddings to give the kids something to do.”

The Race, at 40 feet long, is their largest inflatable and it’s suitable for older kids who want to race in obstacle course fashion. The Cannon, at 30 feet long, is an in between inflatable that offers side-byside racing.

The Mountain Climb is a 24-foot climb up and a big slide down. The Princess Castle is a general bounce house complete with basketball goal. One way to exit is to climb up a short ladder and slide out. You can slide into a small pool if you want to add an optional water element.

“We set them up and take them down,” said Ashley. “We did nine in one week around the Fourth of July and really enjoy it.”

Ashley says the bounce houses are an extension of her party planning business. One popular item she offers are balloon arches. Also of interest, Warren Bounce House Rentals will be at the Southern Standard’s Marketville, which is this coming Saturday, July 30, at Three Star Mall.

“We’ll have two of our bounce houses at Marketville and we’ll be selling wristbands where you can jump all day,” said Ashley.

You can contact the business through its Facebook page, or by calling or texting Ashley at (931) 450-0872.

IDB News

At the monthly Industrial Development Board meeting on Thursday, executive director Don Alexander mentioned a few current projects that are making progress.

One is the old Miniature Precision Components building in Morrison, which is more recently the old Novares building. Don said Novares has completely moved out and a new tenant has been identified. Negotiations are going well, Don said.

“They are to the point where their attorneys are going back and forth on the sales agreement,” said Don. “They are looking at closing in mid-October.”

The IDB is also working on finalizing the TIF for Investment Partners, which has plans to revitalize the Blue Building with condominiums inside and townhouses outside. A public meeting has been set for the TIF on Aug. 8 at 5:30 p.m. at McMinnville City Hall.

Bobby Kirby of Investment Partners was in attendance at the IDB meeting and was asked about price points for his new units once complete.

“We’ll have some under 3 and some in the 3s,” said Bobby, with 3 referring to $300,000.

The TIF is a way for the developer to realize tax savings.

That’s all folks

Summer vacation is fleeting. The kids will be back in school before we know it.

Business Pulse is always in session. Email business news you’d like to see in the paper to editor@ southernstandard. com.