New eatery coming to Easthill Centre

The eating options in southeast Red Deer appear poised to increase.

The eating options in southeast Red Deer appear poised to increase.

Trevor Rowden, managing partner of Original Joe’s Restaurant and Bar in Red Deer, confirmed on Monday that he and his partners plan to open a restaurant in the former Blockbuster Canada premises in Easthill Centre. Although they had considered setting up a second Original Joe’s at the site, the group has settled on a State & Main Kitchen and Bar.

State & Main is owned by the FranWorks Group of Companies, which also has the rights to Original Joe’s and Elephant & Castle.

A release issued by FranWorks described State & Main as an “urban inspired” restaurant and bar with many of the same features as Original Joe’s.

“We were looking to fill a niche market that provides guests with a trendy but friendly atmosphere where they can enjoy an excellent meal, or a lively night out with friends,” said Derek Doke, CEO of FranWorks.

“It’ll be more upscale than Original Joe’s,” added Rowden.

Red Deer’s State & Main will boast an 80-seat lounge and a restaurant with space for 48 diners, he said. That means families will be able to eat there, unlike Original Joe’s, where admission is limited to customers 18 or older.

Rowden said he and his four partners will take possession of the premises May 1, and should be ready to open this summer.

“We’re shooting for early to mid-August.”

Hours of operation will be 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., seven days a week, with brunch served. The lounge will feature 16 beer taps, as well as wine and other drinks.

Rowden said 19 TVs will be mounted throughout the lounge and restaurant.

Red Deer’s State & Main will be among the first, with the inaugural franchise scheduled to open in Lethbridge late this month and another planned for Winnipeg.

The Easthill Centre bay became available after Blockbuster ceased operations there at the end of September. Rowden is confident it will fill a dining void in the area, which has a number of fast-food restaurants.

“I think it’s a fantastic location.”

Rowden and his partners have operated Original Joe’s Restaurant and Bar at 4720 51st Ave. for more than six years.