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Flat Creek makes debut in Republic today

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The anchor tenant of the nearly $4 million Wildwood Plaza commercial development in Republic is in place as Flat Creek Republic LLC opens its doors today.

Located at 772 E. Highway 60, the restaurant is the third location for Flat Creek, which also operates an eatery along Table Rock Lake and its original spot in Cape Fair.

Serving up a menu which includes catfish, fried chicken, steaks, crab legs, burgers and sandwiches, the 11,000-square-foot restaurant has a seating capacity of 430, including room for approximately 100 people on the patio, said co-owner Josh Rasmussen.

Rasmussen said he and Alan Kram, the company’s co-owner and founder, were drawn to Republic’s central location on a major highway, as well as their relationship with the Pinegar family as primary reasons for setting up shop in Republic. Pinegar Chevrolet Inc. is across the street from the three-building Wildwood Plaza development, with Pinegar family members serving as developer via Melbourne4 LLC, according to co-owner Abbi Pinegar-Rose.

“We thought this created a great destination for a great area,” Rasmussen said, noting the restaurant will be open 365 days a year.

Flat Creek’s construction was approximately $1.7 million, Rasmussen said, part of the $3.75 million Wildwood Plaza development. BP Builders LLC served as general contractor with H Design Group LLC as architect for the development, originally slated to finish in the fall, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. Rasmussen declined to disclose terms of the lease with Melbourne4 LLC. According to WildwoodPlaza.com, lease rates are $13-$15 per square foot.

Other tenants previously confirmed by Pinegar-Rose are offices for Elliott, Robinson & Co. and Edward Jones. Pinegar-Rose said Elliott, Robinson & Co. moved in Dec. 1, and infill work for the Edward Jones office is currently underway.

Formerly signed tenant Family Pharmacy is no longer part of the development plans, with Pinegar-Rose noting Melbourne4 LLC has a letter of intent signed and is in negotiations with an undisclosed tenant for a 3,000-square-foot space that includes a drive-thru. Family Pharmacy was purchased in bankruptcy proceedings last year for $16 million by Smith Management Services LLC.

Approximately 120 employees will staff Flat Creek’s Republic eatery, Rasmussen said, with the menu to also feature a full bar with 30 beers on tap. One of those beers, Flat Creek Lager, was brewed especially for the restaurant by Springfield-based 4 by 4 Brewing Co., he added. The beer will be on tap at all three Flat Creek restaurants, and it also can be purchased in canned six-packs exclusively at the Republic location.

Huge portions make up the 80-plus options on the menu, Rasmussen said, with many of the entrees priced in the $10-$20 range.

“I think the value for the money exceeds anybody else in this area,” he said.

While declining to disclose 2018 revenue, Rasmussen previously told SBJ Flat Creek’s 2017 sales were around $4 million, with $3 million coming from its Cape Fair location. He expects Republic sales to exceed $3 million annually, according to SBJ archives.

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