Above: Design concept of planned state of the art food cart pavilion includes fire pits and corn hole
Off the corner of Esplanade and Spring Street, “imagine” no more – Today, the Klamath County Economic Development Association (KCEDA) announced that the ownership of General Duffy’s Waterhole (Redmond, OR) has entered into an agreement with the Klamath County Board of Commissioners to purchase the former MedoBel site. The site will now be used for the future development of a state-of-the-art tap room and food cart pavilion. Once the Klamath Falls location is complete, it will be a year-round, family-friendly destination that offers several delicious food and beverage options. Additionally, the facility will function as a regular gathering point for entertainment and activities, standing as a hallmark venue that presents the height of community spirit, energetically symbolizing Klamath’s placemaking potential.
In 2019, the Robertson family (owners of General Duffy’s), won the top prize for most “Significant Contribution to Neighborhood Economy” at the Building a Better Central Oregon Awards. Speaking on behalf of his family and co- owners at General Duffy’s, Dick Robertson spoke about his enthusiasm for the project, stating, “We could not be more excited to have our next location open in Klamath Falls. This development would not be possible had it not been for the amazing assistance KCEDA provided our family. We have already begun discussions with local contractors and look forward to determining a construction start date in the near future.”
The County has owned the MedoBel site for several years up until now. In the past, the Commissioners have considered a number of different development options for the location, however, were reluctant to commit to anything that didn’t capture the full potential of the downtown location. Recently, KCEDA and the Commissioners proactively engaged in on- going discussions about development types that would be most suitable for the MedoBel site. A concept that both parties repeatedly arrived at was the idea for a tap-house and food cart pavilion to operate at the location.
In late August, the County tasked KCEDA with developing a concept, targeting a company that had experience in such operations, and recruiting them to open a location on the property. Starting from an ideation phase, KCEDA began work putting a design concept together, and coordinating with the County on identifying potential investors for the development. KCEDA then pitched the development concept and site location to the Robertson family, where the General Duffy’s owners immediately expressed enthusiasm for the idea. That interest continued to grow, where earlier this week, Dick Robertson sat down and reached an agreement with the Commissioners.
Pleased with the news, Commissioner Donnie Boyd spoke on behalf of the County regarding today’s announcement, saying, “We had a great meeting with the owners of General Duffy’s. Dick and his family have strong expertise with this unique business model. They have a great tap house in Redmond, and we are excited by the prospect of having them be a new business in Klamath County. It continues to be a pleasure to team up with KCEDA to generate results for the Klamath economy.”
With this particular project, KCEDA provided a large spectrum of services to help land the development. During the pre- selection phases of the development, KCEDA services included: site selection, mapping, concept designing, regulatory process coordination, and market research. As the project moves forward, KCEDA will be working with Robertson to facilitate infrastructure improvements on the property and secure additional financing.
KCEDA CEO, Randy Cox, spoke about KCEDA’s involvement with the planned development, stating, “Ultimately, the value proposition of this project stems from the importance of having a strong downtown gateway. We believe this facility can be an iconic first impression of our community. We greatly appreciate the Klamath County Commissioners’ support. They continue to prioritize economic development for the area.”Figures regarding the development’s expected capital investment and projected job numbers have yet to be disclosed.
According to KCEDA, the developer seeks to have the facility operational sometime in Summer of 2020.