New eastside restaurant possible

A new steak and barbecue restaurant may be coming to Seymour later this spring or summer.

Possible locations for Bonanza Steak and BBQ include the shuttered Max and Erma’s building or Ryan’s, which closed in February. Both sites are on the city’s far east side on U.S. 50, just west of the Interstate 65 interchange.

Jeremy Gray, Seymour’s building commissioner, said no construction or signage permits have been filed with the city’s planning and zoning department for either properties, and his office hasn’t received any calls about them.

The former Ryan’s property at 203 N. Sandy Creek Drive is owned by Community Bank of Raymore in Baxter Springs, Kansas, according to county property records. In 2015, the property was valued at $691,100.

JCB in Seymour owns the property at 2045 E. Tipton St., where the Max and Erma’s building sits. Its value is listed at $747,700.

Bonanza is a full-service casual steakhouse developed by Homestyle Dining that first opened in Eureka, Missouri, last November.

According to its website, it celebrates the rich heritage of the iconic Bonanza Steakhouse brand, dating back to 1963, but with an updated and elevated menu featuring grilled steaks, pork, chicken and seafood, a selection of slow-smoked barbecue entrees and a fresh farm-to-table salad bar at family-friendly prices.

Seymour will be the business’ first franchise, operated by Mike Everhart of Scottsburg, according to a Jan. 27 article in Full Service Restaurant, a national food service industry trade magazine.

Everhart owns Ponderosa Steakhouse restaurants in Scottsburg, Madison and Louisville, Kentucky, and has been involved in the business for more than 20 years.

He received Homestyle Dining’s U.S. Franchise Operator of the Year award in 2014 based on his restaurant operations and lasting community support and involvement, according to Full Service Restaurant. He also serves as a vice president on the franchise association board and is co-chairman of the operations committee.

“Mike Everhart is an experienced, high-quality restaurant operator with a proven track record in our company,” said Tom Sacco, CEO of Homestyle Dining LLC, as quoted in Full Service Restaurant. “We are delighted that he has chosen to support our direction for the future of Bonanza Steak and BBQ by franchising our newest concept.”

When contacted by The Tribune on Wednesday, Everhart said he didn’t want to comment because the Seymour location is “not a done deal” and “things are still up in the air.”

Besides Bonanza, Homestyle Dining also owns the Ponderosa Steakhouse and Cole’s Backyard Grill brands.

A Ponderosa Steakhouse located in Seymour closed in the early 2000s, and the building was razed years later after serving as an Acra Auto Sales lot for a brief time. The property was purchased for the development of a Frisch’s Restaurant in 2010, but that project never happened, and the lot remains vacant.