It was Carl Lenderman’s fond memories of the famed Green Jacket Restaurant that gave him the idea to revive the concept.
The Augusta transplant, who would stop in the eatery on business trips until it closed in the mid-1990s, decided in 2007 that he’d acquire rights to the brand and trademark through the Georgia Secretary of State.
Lenderman said he expects to open a restaurant and retail store by the fall.
“It just seemed like it’s a better risk-reward situation now than it was the last five years or so,” Lenderman said. “With the economy being so bad, I was just going to wait until a good time so I could go ahead and get those businesses going.”
Lenderman, who once operated two Raising Cane’s restaurants in the metro area, is now in the process of combing the area for the right location for both business ventures.
For the restaurant, Lenderman is eying sites in Evans and in Augusta on Washington Road. He said his version of the Green Jacket Restaurant will be “updated” but very similar to its namesake.
Ideally, Lenderman would like to find a spot near the original Green Jacket establishment, across from the Augusta National Golf Club. The restaurant, open in Augusta from the mid 1970s until 1994, was famous for its salads, prime rib and seafood, Lenderman recalled.
Lenderman, who has 30 years in the restaurant industry, said his work as senior vice president for Waffle House led him to travel throughout the Southeast.
“Every time I visited here, I’d always go to the Green Jacket Restaurant,” Lenderman said. “The food was great and the salads were really their calling card.”
Lenderman said his love of golf sparked his plan for the retail store, which would carry golf apparel, equipment and training tools.
For that venture, he’s considering locations in the Washington Crossing shopping center near Interstate 20, which will house the future Whole Foods Market, or near Berckmans Road.
Lenderman said he’d like to open another restaurant and store in 2015. He’s also offering franchise opportunities to anyone interested in opening either business in other cities.
In two or three years, Lenderman said he’d like to start distributing Green Jacket gourmet coffee and wine as well as develop a golf resort-style inn.