Council expected to OK signing of Ribeyes contract

Published 2:15 pm Friday, March 10, 2017

Washington’s City Council, during its meeting Monday, is expected to authorize the mayor to sign as grant contract related to a Ribeyes Steakhouse coming to downtown.

Last month, the North Carolina Department of Commerce — through its North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority — awarded a $25,000 building reuse grant for building renovations and upfit to Pates Food Group, the business entity preparing to open the seventh Ribeyes in eastern North Carolina. The company plans to renovate the building that housed the former Apollo’s Steakhouse and other restaurants to accommodate the new restaurant.

In January, the council unanimously adopted a resolution supporting the grant application. A city document notes total eligible expenses for the proposal are estimated at $100,000. The city’s contribution to the project would be 5-percent of the grant amount, or $1,250.

Justin Pate and his father Larry Pate are partners in Pates Food Group, which has agreed to reimburse the city for its contribution to the project, according to Matt Rauschenbach, the city’s administrative services director and chief financial officer.

A pre-application form listed Mark V.L. Gray, a Greensboro-based lawyer, as the property owner. The property is located at 228 Stewart Parkway.

The project’s total renovation cost is estimated at $98,000, with the total project funding listed as $280,000 (private-sector investment), according to Rauschenbach. Proposed renovations include replacing the handicapped-accessible ramp with a lift system, changes to the kitchen area and an outdoor dining area where the existing ramp is located.

Grant documents indicate Ribeyes will create at least five new jobs once it opens in the building constructed in 1905 and which has been vacant two years. The Washington Ribeyes has six months to create at least five new jobs.

Ribeyes has locations in Beaufort, Cape Carteret, Snow Hill, Williamston, Tarboro, Henderson, Mount Olive, Greenville and Nashville.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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