Located in downtown Delaware, Son of Thurman is poised to add some vigor to an already busy area that counts the local favorites of Amato's Woodfired Pizza and Hamburger Inn Diner among its culinary attractions.
"We're going to bring people down here," owner Chris DeVol said of his new restaurant, which opens today, Feb. 13, at 5 N. Sandusky St. "I honestly feel we'll push it past the tipping point to where Delaware will be a destination."
A descendant of Nancho Suclescy, founder of the original Thurman Cafe in German Village, DeVol said he looked far and wide before opening the restaurant in Delaware, a 20-minute drive north of Interstate 270. It's quite a distance from the German Village store, which usually has an hour wait on weekdays and a wait of two hours on the weekends.
"Our brand is strong enough to draw people, no matter where you put us," he said, adding that he wants to attract diners from Dublin, Powell, Lewis Center, Sunbury and the surrounding region.
In the event of a wait at the new store, diners will receive a text when their seats are ready, DeVol said.
Located at the northwest corner of Sandusky and William Street, Son of Thurman takes over the 3,800-square-foot storefront that was home to Nova and, more recently, Generations.
DeVol said he completely transformed the space, highlighting the rustic wood and brick walls. The place seats 120 inside. A retractable garage door opens to a sidewalk patio, which will be ready by summer.
The place will have virtually the same menu as the German Village spot: a full complement of sizzling burgers, including the classic "Thurmanator" -- two beef patties, ham, bacon and three kinds of cheese -- plus wings, salads, subs and pizzas. A few starters have been added, such as onion straws and pizza rolls.
Son of Thurman has a full liquor license. There are now eight taps, which will double in number by this summer, DeVol said.
Dan Bennington, retired Delaware city attorney, said the city has an impressive burger culture.
"It's a good burger town because we have lots of choices," he said. "You can go almost anyplace and order one. And they're all a little different."
Bennington was once part of an informal group of city employees who called themselves the Delaware PadDay Hamburger Club, formed by Jerry Warner, the chief building inspector.
His favorite was the "nap" burger, crowned with grilled onions tossed in sriracha sauce, at Bianchi's, which was replaced by Amato's.
The club hit the local circuit, supping at Buns, Shorty's Casual Cuisine, the departed Brown Jug, Old Bag of Nails and even Dairy Queen.
Since Bennington retired two years ago, the club has pretty much disbanded, but that won't deter him from going to Son of Thurman.
"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "I've had a Thurman burger twice in my life. It's an experience because it's so huge. I expect to be in there shortly after it opens."
It is only the second full-service Thurman eatery to open in the restaurant's 72-year history. Thurman To Go, a carryout restaurant owned by DeVol's cousin, Aaron Suclescy, opened over the summer just east of Reynoldsburg.
"My cousin and I are that interested in carrying on the legacy," DeVol said. "It's important to us."
Son of Thurman is open for lunch and dinner daily. For more information, call 740-417-9614.