Grants Pass entrepreneur purchases Taprock name

Local restaurateur Dave Thomason said Thursday he has acquired the Taprock name from Portland-based Elmer's Restaurants and plans to begin franchising the lodge-style restaurant.

Thomason has operated the local Taprock NW Grill in Grants Pass under a franchisee agreement for the past four years.

He now has control over the brand and franchising system.

The other Taprock NW Grill was a corporately owned restaurant in Poulsbo, Wash., and remains under Elmer's ownership.

Thomason, who is based in Grants Pass, declined to specify the purchase price, but said it was "well over a million dollars."

"We are thrilled to now have the opportunity to further develop and refine the Taprock brand with our long-term goal of seeing the expansion of Taprock NW Grill throughout the Northwest," Thomason said. "My first goal is to make sure we have the concept exactly how we want it, and see it working as a brand that is franchiseable and profitable."

He said there will be changes to the plan developed for Taprock when it was an Elmer's subsidiary.

No other Taprock NW Grill franchise has been granted and none is in the works, he said.

"They have had inquiries all along, and they are going to forward them to me, but I haven't personally had discussions with any of them.

"The long-term goal, though, is to see franchises throughout the Northwest," Thomason said.

Thomason and his wife, Doneta, have owned and operated more than 50 restaurants in Southern Oregon and Northern California, including Elmer's Restaurants, Taprock and Taprock Event Center, Human Bean coffee stands, Purple Parrot Delis, Carl's Jr., Blimpie Sandwiches and Kenny Rogers Roasters.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness, friend him on Facebook and read his blog at Edge.

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