The former owner of Bada Bing Pizzeria plans to open a new burger restaurant in the next few weeks, hoping it can help draw customers back to the Upper Valley Mall.
Jason Hague and his wife Maxine will open the Tango Yankee Burger Co. this year, although no opening date has yet been scheduled. Hague said it’s possible the restaurant could open as early as June. The new restaurant will honor first responders and members of the military. Customers will be able to pin photos of friends and relatives in uniform along a wall inside the restaurant.
MORE BUSINESS NEWS: Compromise may be reached in lengthy Champaign County wind farm fight
“Basically, we’re giving thanks to those that serve our community,” said Hague, who also serves as a member of the Ohio Air National Guard in Springfield.
The restaurant’s name is military radio terminology for “thank you,” he said. The restaurant needs to draw people on its own, he said, because foot traffic in the mall likely won’t be enough to keep the business running. But if it’s successful, he said, it could provide a boost to a mall that has watched several national retailers close or move to other locations.
Now, many residents travel outside Clark County to go to dinner, so the restaurant would provide a new local option, he said. Along with burgers, the restaurant will likely provide other options like chicken and veggie burgers.
“It would be better if those dollars would stay in Clark County,” Hague said.
This will be the couple’s second restaurant. They originally opened Bada Bing Pizzeria on Harding Road, and eventually moved that restaurant to downtown Springfield. Hague is no longer involved in the day-to-day operation, after selling a portion of the business, but remains a co-owner.
The lessons he learned from that business will help the new burger restaurant be more successful, he said. For example, he said the new business will focus more on retaining good employees and will likely host more fundraisers and other events for community organizations in Clark County.
“We really want to make this grow based on the experiences we had,” Hague said.
The Springfield News-Sun has provided extensive coverage of the Upper Valley Mall and a changing retail landscape. For this story, the paper spoke to a local restaurant owner about plans to open a new restaurant in the mall.