By Gary Seman Jr. of The Columbus Dispatch
Din is served.
Dick’s Last Resort, set to open today in the Arena District adding to the various downtown Columbus restaurants already located in the heart of Columbus. Dick’s Last Resort specializes in a comical, raucous environment in which servers and patrons are expected to trade well-placed insults.
“It’s unruly fun for everyone,” said Ralph McCracken, president and chief operating officer of DLR Restaurants. “And that’s for all ages, too.”
The volume can be appreciable, especially at night.
“It’s a lot,” general manager David Swann said. “People love shtick.”
The Nashville, Tenn.-based company, which now has 15 company-owned stores across the U.S., has taken over 5,200 square feet at 343 N. Front St. near the main entrance of Nationwide Arena. The company soon will buy back a location in Dallas, while a Chicago restaurant will remain in the hands of a licensee.
McCracken likes to say he’s in the entertainment business, not the restaurant business.
“People come to us and eat,” he said. “They don’t come to us to eat.”
Servers aren’t simply hired; they audition, McCracken said.
“We allow servers to be themselves,” he said.
Dick’s is generally located in tourist markets. And although Columbus is not a high-profile vacation destination, the Arena District is a great spot, offering a vibrant entertainment scene, a lot of special-event traffic and proximity to the Greater Columbus Convention Center, McCracken said.
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