Ground broken for Winchester Steak N’ Shake

Published 10:01 am Thursday, October 12, 2017

Work has begun on what will become Winchester’s Steak N’ Shake this week.

Franchise owner Ryan Dotson, his family and other members of the community officially broke ground Tuesday on the project, located on West Lexington Avenue next to O’Reilly Auto Parts and across from Ron Hatfield Chrysler Dodge Jeep’s used car lot.

While Dotson told the Sun in August he hoped to begin construction in September, the project saw some minor delays pushing the start date into October.

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Architect Jay Million of Million Architecture, which designed the building, said Tuesday if construction conditions remain favorable, the Steak N’ Shake should be ready to open sometime in February 2018.

“It’s a little bit later than we had originally planned, but we’re finally getting started,” Dotson said.

The Winchester location will be the second Dotson oversees, with a third planned for Morehead.

Dotson said when he initially became a franchisee, his goal was to bring the diner chain to Winchester, but corporate officials were concerned about the proximity to its Lexington location in the Hamburg shopping center.

However, the restaurant chain later offered Dotson a contract for three locations, guaranteeing Winchester would be the second location if he first opened one in Mount Sterling.

When completed, Dotson said the restaurant will be able to seat about 84 people. He added he will be hiring an all new staff for the restaurant. Toward the end of the construction phase, he hopes to establish an office in Winchester to recruit local employees.