Metro Diner on menu for Oklahoma City market

Published Monday, December 4, 2017
by Molly M. Fleming

A Florida-based diner chain is coming to the city’s northwest sector, with more locations already planned.

Metro Diner is taking 4,000 square feet in The Shoppes at Quail Springs. The eatery will be open by May, said Roland Wayment, a joint venture partner with Metro Diner.

The center is at the southwest corner of W. Memorial Road and N. May Avenue. It was developed by Fred Mazaheri and is being leased by the Price Edwards & Co. Retail Investment team. The team is composed of Phillip Mazaheri, George Williams, and Paul Ravencraft.

Metro Diner started in 1992 in Jacksonville, Florida. In 2000, chef Mark Davoli and his father, John Davoli Sr., took over operations. Mark’s brother, John Davoli Jr., is involved as well. By 2010, the eatery had caught the attention of Guy Fieri, who featured the restaurant on his show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.

Consul Hospitality Group invested in the diner in 2014 and is working on putting multiple locations across the U.S.

Wayment will oversee Metro Diner’s growth into Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas, and Kansas. He’s been involved with the company for two years, but six months ago he became a joint venture partner.

He said he wanted to be a part of the concept after he met Mark Davoli and tried his food.

“He is just a genuine, hospitality-oriented person,” Wayment said. “He loves the business and loves creating great dining experiences. It’s an incredible quality of food that he’s put together. Everything’s fresh and made in-house.”

Metro Diner is looking for an Oklahoma City management partner, who will have equity in the diner. Each location will also have a kitchen manager who is trained in the diner’s operations. The staff will be trained at an existing Metro Diner so they can learn the recipes that caught Fieri’s attention.

The diner offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with two specials daily in each category. Specialties include corn beef hash with poached eggs, an avocado-toast dish, meatloaf, a Philly cheesesteak sandwich, and a club sandwich.

“We have awesome, homemade, American comfort food,” he said.

Other locations are planned for the west side of Oklahoma City and near Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa.

The Metro Diner joins a 70-percent leased Shoppes at Quail Springs, Williams said. Places that are already open are Ambassador Shop, Salons by JC, and Salata.

Wagyu Japanese BBQ will open by year’s end. At the restaurant, customers can cook their high-end meat on a grill at their table.

RCB Bank is taking an end-cap spot as well.

Other tenants that could be moving into the center are a specialty fitness concept, a medical office, and a new-to-market restaurant and bar. If those deals get completed, the center will be 80 percent leased.

Williams said the Retail Investment Team is still trying to find a woman’s soft goods retailer. He said there’s been some slowdown in that sector, so companies do not seem to be expanding as quickly as other businesses.

He said the center has attracted a lot of interest because of its proximity to hospitals and other offices. The center has a high traffic count. The design is attractive as well, with its brick and capstone exterior.

“It definitely stands out from your typical shopping center,” he said. “(Fred Mazaheri) spent a lot of time and effort making sure it’s something the city could be proud of.”

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