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Eat All About It: One two-story restaurant closes and a second one opens

Dupus Boomer’s Downtown closed on Christmas Eve. The family restaurant occupied a prominent spot on George Washington Way near Richland City Hall and was supposed to anchor the city’s Swift Boulevard redevelopment vision.
Dupus Boomer’s Downtown closed on Christmas Eve. The family restaurant occupied a prominent spot on George Washington Way near Richland City Hall and was supposed to anchor the city’s Swift Boulevard redevelopment vision. Tri-City Herald

Dupus Boomer’s Downtown, the family-friendly restaurant that was to be the anchor of Richland’s Swift Avenue corridor plans, has closed.

Carla and Greg Markel opened Dupus Boomer’s, named for the 1940s Hanford cartoon character, in mid-2016.

They gave it a high-profile perch over the intersection of Swift Boulevard and George Washington Way. The 7,500-square-foot building faces Richland City Hall on one side and a city fire station on the other. It is arguably the most prominent retail spot in Richland.

The restaurant posted notices in the windows thanking customers and employees but offered no explanation for the closure. The Markels could not be reached over the holiday weekend.

“It is with regret that we will be closing Dupus Boomers. We want to thank all the local 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 has been our pleasure to serve you,” it read.

The restaurant’s website is no longer active.

The Markels began redeveloping the 500 block of Swift Boulevard in 2013 and announced plans to revive the Dupus Boomer’s concept, originally piloted in Pullman, in Richland a year later. The project included constructing retail space now occupied by a Jimmy John’s sandwich shop, a Taco Time and a Go Green Salads shop.

The location is part of the city’s Swift Corridor redevelopment, which aims to link downtown to the Columbia River with visitor amenities. The city recently began construction of its $17.8 million new city hall a block to the west. It expects to make the 1.5-acre current site for city hall available for commercial development when it moves into its new building in a little over two years.

The city sold a portion of the land on the north side of Swift and George Washington Way to accommodate development of the Markel Business Complex.

Dupus Boomer’s was meant to be a visitor destination, serving family fare and 44 beers on tap in an industrial chic setting with upstairs and downstairs seating.

Proof Gastropub opens in Kennewick

Proof Gastropub, a high-end pub concept from one of the founders of Stick + Stone Neopolitan Wood-Fired Pizza, has opened near Kennewick’s Columbia Center.

Mike Miller along with his wife and family invested about $200,000 to complete the build out of a restaurant in the 3,300-square-foot third and fourth floors of the Massage Envy building, 924 N. Columbia Center Blvd. Proof serves high end burgers, steaks and other traditional pub fare in a chic industrial setting.

It opened last week to a strong reception, Miller said.

“A gastropub is essentially high-end bar food,” Miller said. “It’s food that you recognize, but done in a slightly elevated way.”

The bar highlights local beer and wine. The menu emphasizes the Mid-Columbia’s agricultural roots, and cocktails are named for Tri-City landmarks. It sources its meat from within a 100-mile radius of the Tri-Cities, Miller said.

The Millers chose the name “Proof” as a nod to the region’s celebrated fondness for chain restaurants. With Proof, Miller hopes to show the area is ready to embrace bolder local fare.

The upper-floor location comes with views of the Columbia Center area extending toward the Columbia River and parts of western Pasco.

Chef Justin Maltos, formerly of Fox and Bear in Richland, leads the pub’s 22-person staff.

Proof is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturdays.

It is reachable by both stairs and elevators.

Follow it online at facebook.com/proofgastropub/

Have dining news to share? Call me.

Wendy Culverwell: 509-582-1514, @WendyCulverwell

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