Owners of the new Dupus Boomer’s Downtown restaurant are on the cusp of welcoming diners in Richland — nearly four years after closing their restaurant in Pullman.
Workers are putting in the finishing touches — installing granite countertops, staining concrete floors and arranging furniture — at the new two-story building on the corner of George Washington Way and Swift Boulevard. Staff training will follow, and general manager Shane Markel insists he won’t open until he’s confident his employees are ready.
Markel said it should be just a few more weeks, and he’s excited for the entire community to see what it will offer.
“We’re going to have a real strong emphasis on trying to create an atmosphere that is family friendly,” Markel said.
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We’re going to have a real strong emphasis on trying to create an atmosphere that is family friendly.
Shane Markel, restaurant owner
Markel and his father, Greg Markel, announced in late 2014 that they planned to open a Tri-City location of Dupus Boomer’s, named after a character that worked on the Hanford site in a 1940s comic.
The comic made light of the sometimes miserable conditions encountered by the people brought to the Mid-Columbia to work at Hanford, including the desert winds, late-afternoon traffic jams leaving Hanford and the cheap prefabricated homes workers lived in.
Greg Markel, a businessman and former co-owner of several restaurants, including Tony Roma’s, came to the Tri-Cities in 1956. He and his wife, Carla Markel, own Dupus Boomer’s and two other restaurants in the same development.
The restaurant is in one of three buildings in the redevelopment in central Richland, across from city hall.
Just across the parking lot is Greg and Carla Markel’s newest Taco Time franchise that’s already open and a new restaurant they’re launching called Go Green Salads. It opens early next week.
Diners will be able to have a salad made exactly how they want it — to dine in or grab and go. They’ll also offer soup.
Both will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day, and it joins a Jimmy John’s that opened recently in the same building in leased space.
The Dupus Boomer’s restaurant will have an industrial feel, with exposed concrete floors and duct work on the ceiling. The staircase to the second-floor dining area is built from reclaimed lumber from a demolished nearby strip mall and takes its design from the look of a Hanford site reactor.
The special details added to the construction time, but also the restaurant’s character, Shane Markel said.
The restaurant’s bar will feature 44 taps, as well as a back bar stocked with liquor and about 50 different wines. The bar is on the ground floor along with the soup and salad bar and some dining space. The main dining area is on the top floor, along with a large deck that can seat about 75 to 80.
Shane Markel said putting the dining area upstairs was by design. The intent is to cater to families with young children by a special menu, prizes and having kid programs on some of the TVs — to give kids something to be immersed in so their parents can enjoy a meal at the same time.
I want kids to come in here and love it.
Shane Markel, restaurant owner
“I want kids to come in here and love it,” he said.
The menu, which will span breakfast, lunch and dinner, will be classic American and broad: Bison burgers. Lettuce wraps. Avocado rolls. Various types of pasta. Prime rib will be available all day.
Prices will range from $8 to $15 for entrees.
Once Dupus Boomer’s is up and running, Shane Markel said he will offer catering, as well as reserving the dining area for meetings. Really, he’s just excited to get customers in the door and start serving a part of town that is coming into its own.
“The hustle and bustle of (George Washington) Way is what it’s about,” he said.