Farmhaus Burger to anchor new commercial development in Martinez
One of Augusta’s most successful restaurateurs is opening a gourmet hamburger joint in Columbia County.
Sean Wight, the owner of three popular restaurants on Broad Street in downtown Augusta, said this week he expects to open a second Farmhaus Burger restaurant at a newly planned commercial development on Flowing Wells Road early next year.
“A good opportunity popped up with the McKnight company, and I’ve had numerous requests from guests at the downtown Farmhaus pleading for us to come in that direction, so with all the growth in that area and all the neighborhoods down Flowing Wells, I thought it would be a good time for us and a good spot,” Wight said. “We are excited about going out there.”
The demolition of several buildings on the 4-acre tract at the corner of Flowing Wells Road and Mason McKnight Industrial Boulevard, which began last month, is nearing completion. John Engler, the vice president of McKnight Properties, said the goal is to start construction soon and have a building ready for commercial tenants by January.
According to site plans filed with Columbia County, the building will have about 10,000 square feet of commercial space divided into five suites, the largest at more than 4,200 square feet being occupied by Farmhaus. Engler said he hopes to make announcements about other tenants in the near future, which could include another restaurant and retail businesses. The development is part of an overall plan to build a commercial corridor from Flowing Wells Road down to Scott Nixon Memorial Drive across the county line.
“We are just trying to clean up that corner and bring some value to that property there,” he said.
Wight said he chose to work with McKnight Properties because he wanted the restaurant to have the same sort of design detail his customers expect. The “farm to table” restaurant features a menu of gourmet burgers, hot dogs and specialty milkshakes made from products purchased from area farms and suppliers.
“It will be very much like the one downtown,” he said. “We found a partner that was willing to help us build it and give it some unique character and it was just a good fit. It will give it some personality, some character because it’s not a cookie-cutter chain restaurant.”
The new Farmhaus will have a patio that will accommodate about 60 diners and allow for special events.
“We hope to do some live music occasionally on the weekends,” Wight said.
Wight said those familiar with his downtown restaurants – which include Frog Hollow and Craft and Vine – can expect the same kind of attention to detail and customer service in the Martinez restaurant.
“We’ve been very blessed, and I work hard at it to try to keep all our standards to a certain level,” he said. “I like to tell my staff we are not in the restaurant business, we are in the customer service business.”
Wight said he plans to have the restaurant open for business in the first quarter of 2016.