Archie Donoho already had restaurant plans in the works. When his former employer closed, he took it as a sign.
“I said, ‘Heck, that’s God telling me to do it,’” Donoho said. “I believe he wanted me to fulfill my dream.”
The former general manager of the recently closed Springfield location of Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, Donoho is now opening a concept dubbed Archie’s Italian Eatery. It may open as early as this week — pending permitting by the city — at 1410 E. Republic Road, the former home of OssoBuco Italian American Bistro, Frida Mexican Cuisine and Bar, and Argentina Steakhouse. Donoho said OssoBuco closed late last month.
Donoho said Archie’s Italian Eatery would employ 22 people, including his sons and some former Perkins staffers, and serve up a menu that includes multiple styles of fettuccine, such as a build-your-own pasta dish. Additionally, he said children will be given balls of dough to knead into shapes, which then can be baked and served with marinara sauce.
“I love Italian food, and I have some great Italian recipes and things that Springfield has never seen before,” he said. “It’s been my dream to open my own restaurant for a long time.”
Donoho said he’s investing about $200,000 on the roughly 5,000-square-foot restaurant venture. He signed a two-year lease with an option for four additional years for undisclosed terms with Rob Wilson, president and CEO of Rapid Robert’s Inc.
Donoho worked over five years as general manager of Perkins, which closed in October at 729 W. Sunshine St. amid bankruptcy proceedings and a buyout of the restaurant chain.
At the former Perkins, signage for Norma's Carriage House has been installed. A Facebook post indicates the restaurant plans to open by Christmas, with former Perkins employees hired. Norma's Carriage House also operates at 1537 N. Glenstone Ave.
The Archie’s Italian Eatery spot had been restaurateur Angel Kim’s OssoBuco since it opened in June. Donoho said he was approached about two weeks before Perkins closed about taking over the OssoBuco space.
Mercy Springfield Communities relocated a clinic; San Clemente, California-based law firm Gilson Daub Inc. expanded to the Springfield market; and a second video gaming center for Contender eSports Springfield LLC opened in the Queen City.