• Hull Storey Gibson acquired University Commons shopping center (formerly anchored by Publix). They plan to revitalize the center through renovations and re-tenanting. Hull Storey Gibson has owned retail properties in Statesboro for 30 years, including the Mall.
• South Beach Tanning Company, a Florida based franchise has opened in the former Tan-Tastic location on 719 South Main Street across from the GSU Campus. Ben Carter, the franchise owner, is a former director of operations for the local McDonald's.
• Snap Fitness at 609 Brannen Street has new owners: Mike Bowen and Rhonda McMahon. They are upgrading and adding new equipment. Snap is a national chain with over 1,500 locations.
New City Business Licenses for March:
Archie's Towing (ownership change)
Motor Vehicle Towing
2 East Cherry Street
Carl Lee Stanley, owner
58 East Main Street
Shannon Ward, owner
Mi San Pedro
Mexican Retail Store
200 Lanier Drive, Suite 3
Maria Zamora VDA De Diaz, owner
One Call Commercial Services
1756 Wyngate Circle,
Mt. Pleasant, SC
Barry Hillebrand, owner
Full Service Restaurant
3000 Northside Drive West
Black Sheep Concepts, owner
Tri State Service and Maintenance Co.
1260 Steele Station Road
Donald Tucker, owner
Williams & Rowe Company
5215 Highway Avenue
Jacksonville, FL 32254
John Williams, Jr.
When you walk in the door of Dingus Magee's at lunch, chances are you will be met by owner, Stephanie Owens with her 100-watt smile, boundless energy and her trademark question, "You doing alright today?"
There is just an indescribable comfort you feel immediately. It is like going home after you have been away for a while. Longtime friend and patron Sims Lanier described it best "when you walk in the door you're a friend, by the time you leave, you're family."
When Larry Owens, Billy Anderson and Robert Lamb came together to open Dingus they never dreamed it would become as patron Pratt Hill described, "another icon of Bulloch County." They began with a $250 investment each and a $10,000 line of credit from Sea Island Bank, $8,000 of which they spent before they opened. Twelve businesses in the previous 10 years had opened and failed in that location. A contractor working on renovations for the opening told Owens that he would "rather have the liquor concessions at First Baptist Church, than open a business here."
On Saturday, they will celebrate 35 years in business making them the oldest locally owned restaurants/bar in Statesboro.
In business school at GSU you are taught the two keys to success - be first or be different. Dingus has done both. They were the first restaurant in town to serve alcohol, they were innovators of chicken fingers and the first to bring ranch dressing to the market.
Dingus is different by its daily transformation. At lunch, the blue plate special, including homemade items by Stephanie, is a favorite for the business community and GSU students alike. At night it takes on a totally different feel as one of the most popular college hangouts in town. Businessman and former restaurateur Allen Tyson confirmed the night time success saying his son "spent more money at Dingus Magee's than he did at GSU."
The walls are covered with portraits of their staffs through the years. It is not uncommon to see a former employee pointing herself out to their child who is attending GSU. Many of the employees are second generation staffers.
You also see autographed pictures from the likes of Luke Bryan, Cole Swindell and Lewis Grizzard, all of which used Dingus as a launching pad for their careers. Grizzard counted "drinking a beer at Dingus" as one of his pinnacle life moments. Grizzard also accepted a bet from Ric Mandes that he could not write an entire column on a pot hole in the parking lot. He did, as masterfully as only Grizzard could do.
When asked the about the secret to the success of Dingus, Owens said, "Lots of loyal and faithful customers, most of whom just happen to be a little better looking than the girls and guys who frequent the other college hangouts."
In addition, he went on to say, great business partners and a friendly, personable staff has helped them continue to be successful. Anderson and Lamb sold their interest early on; Lamb to Owens, Anderson to Will Howell. Howell sold to Jim Chambers, who recently sold his interest to Nathan Queen.
They grew the Dingus brand into a small chain at one point operating restaurants in Athens, Vidalia, Americus, Baxley and Richmond Hill. The Statesboro location is the only one remaining.
Stop by on Saturday, and help Larry, Stephanie, Nathan and the gang celebrate 35 years of remarkable service to our community. They will have rolled back pricing and special events throughout the day to celebrate.
Dingus is located at 3 Georgia Avenue adjacent to the GSU campus. Join me on Facebook to continue the conversation and share your favorite Dingus story.