PIQUA — 311 Draft House has become, for many, the go-to place in downtown Piqua for dinner, drinks, or both.
Gregg and Kathleen Wyatt designed, built, and made 311 “home” for hungry and thirsty Piqua residents over the past five years, but decided that it is time to move on.
Taking over the the reins of 311 Draft House are Tom and Nancy Elliott of Shelby County.
The Wyatts, both veterans of the United States Air Force, with Kathleen still serving, purchased the establishment in 2013 and after extensive renovation, 311 Draft House opened its door in December of that year.
“Piqua picked us.” said Kathleen, of their choice of locations for their business. “We took something and made a legacy and the Elliotts going to come in a pick up what we started and carry it into the future.”
When the Wyatts decided that it was time to look into selling the business, they chose a broker, Sunbelt, to handle the deal. Sunbelt, based in Dayton, brokers business purchases and mergers, screening potential buyers.
Gregg and Kathleen listed their business with Sunbelt expecting it to be a minimum of several months before any inquiries came.
Tom and his wife, Nancy, had been looking for the perfect business venture. They contacted Sunbelt and the deal-making began. “We had to go through a screening process,” said Tom. “They (Sunbelt) only bring serious potential buyers “to the table.”
“Sunbelt did a really good job for us,” said Kathleen.
The Elliotts intend to make no changes but rather to nurture the already-welcoming atmosphere found at 311. “That’s what brought my wife and I to this establishment,” said Tom Elliott, “I like something that (Kathleen) said: this kind of picked us.”
“I want a ‘Cheers’ bar. Everybody knows your name,” said Elliott. ” You don’t have to worry about fist fights. You can bring your children in here to eat or you can come in to just sit at the bar. That is something that drew my wife and I to this establishment.”
Elliott praised the Wyatts for their hard work, “They’ve done such a fantastic job with not only the decor but the atmosphere.”
“This is a lifelong dream of mine,” continued Elliott, “I’m a closet gourmet.” Elliott’s background is in manufacturing and management.
“I’m probably going to be ‘Norm’ (of “Cheers” fame),” said Elliott, “I love how everyone interacts with customers.”
The Wyatts will continue to live in the area, subject eventually to whatever plans the U.S. Air Force has for Kathleen.
In the meantime, they will continue to drop in at the family corner bar at 311, where everybody knows your name.