“It’s a fantastic location in a great town, and that’s why I think I can do these kinds of sales.”
– Antonio Swad, restaurateur/owner of Porch Swing
A public hearing was held during Monday’s City Council meeting to consider a resolution to approve the terms and conditions of Chapter 380 agreement with Latin Life Inc. for a proposed new restaurant at 3855 West Emporium Circle.
The planned restaurant is called Porch Swing, an establishment that would serve food, spirits and pie, and will be located at what was formerly Spaghetti Warehouse, which has been sitting vacant for several years.
Latin Life Inc. is owned by Antonio Swad, who is the creator of Pizza Patron and Wingstop.
Kim Buttram, assistant manager of Economic Development, said the building is currently bringing in $16,488 in city property taxes and $67,289 in all taxing entities. The estimated property tax increase would be $8,244 with the estimated sales tax being $80,000 - $100,000.
“He is asking for a revenue sharing of 1 percent of our 2 percent local tax rate for five years,” she said. “So the annual rebate to him would be $40,000 - $50,000 a year for a total of five years with an estimate of $200,000 - $250,000.”
Swad told the City Council that when he signed the lease the building had severe foundation problems and the patio had rotting wood.
“It was in real bad shape. I’ve taken the approach that nothing in the building was salvageable, and after being in there and out for a few months, I was completely right about that,” he said.
He presented a rendering of what he plans to do with the building. The restaurant will seat about 300 people, and over 100 of that will be outdoors. Porch Swing’s unique elements include a wraparound porch and a full pie bakery and store.
“We plan to have live performances of country music on weekends, as well as occasionally some very talented servers that can sing and entertain,” Swad said.
The restaurant is estimated to provide 15-20 full-time positions, 35-50 part-time positions, and bring in sales of $80,000-$110,000 per week or $4-$5.2 million annually.
“It’s a fantastic location in a great town, and that’s why I think I can do these kinds of sales,” he said. “I am a career restaurateur, 45 years in the industry. I’ve got my eyes wide open and my wallet wide open on this project.”
Swad said if he is granted the rebate he would put all into marketing to target patrons outside of Mesquite with the hopes that the traffic to his restaurant will also bring business to other businesses in Mesquite.
Resident Sergio Garcia questioned Swad about the pay for entry level employees.
“A line cook in my industry, if you want to be competitive as an employer and you want to get the best people possible, it’s a $12-$15 an hour position,” he said.
Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Casper said the restaurant will be a great addition, something unique and different from the usual chains and is looking forward to seeing some revitalization to Emporium Circle.
The requested rebate was approved.