2017-07-12 / Front Page

Steakhouse coming to old bank in Sandusky

Joe Moore to open ‘The Vault’
810-452-2689 • elevine@mihomepaper.com

This building at 4 W. Sanilac Avenue, Sandusky, is the future site of a steakhouse and bar. 
File photo This building at 4 W. Sanilac Avenue, Sandusky, is the future site of a steakhouse and bar. File photo SANDUSKY — Joe Moore’s newest venture will turn a downtown landmark into a restaurant.

The Snover native and Florida businessman has purchased the old bank and sporting goods building at the downtown traffic light in Sandusky, with plans to open a steakhouse and bar.

Moore, 51, of Seminole, Florida where he owns First Defense Nasal Screens, said he purchased the build- ing at 4 West Sanilac Avenue on June 30.

After the owners of the former Buck- It sporting goods store have vacated the building, Moore said it will take a couple months to remodel. He intends to open the restaurant later this year.

“The earliest would be October, the latest January first,” he said.

“We want to do it right,” said Moore, who said his son, Joe Jr., will operate the restaurant.

Although it was the site of a sporting goods store in recent years, for decades the downtown building housed financial institutions, including Wolverine State Bank, NBD and Chase.

So, it only seems fitting the restaurant will carry a banking theme – starting with the name.

“The Vault Steakhouse and Saloon,” said Moore.

To stock the new enterprise, Moore has purchased two other businesses.

The liquor license for the restaurant will come from the Wooden Nickle bar on South Elk Street in Sandusky, which he and his son bought in January with the intention of fixing it up and his son running the place.

“We found there was so much to renovate, we wouldn’t get our money back,” said Moore.

So he bought the old bank at the corner of Sanilac and Elk, which has approximately 9,750 square feet of usable space, said Moore.

“I saw that space, the limitless possibilities,” he said.

The plan is now to move the liquor license across the street to The Vault, and possibly sell the Wooden Nickle.

Furnishings for the steakhouse – kitchen equipment, tables and chairs, beer taps, etc. - will come from the second business he purchased, a large restaurant in Indiana.

The main dining room of The Vault will seat about 200, and there will be additional rooms for private parties.

The restaurant will be “real nice,” he said, with a menu that features “quality meat and seafood.”

He plans to hire about 30 people.

Once The Vault opens, there will be two bar-restaurants at the downtown stoplight. The Vault will occupy the southwest corner of Elk and Sanilac, while Elk Street Brewery, with a newly expanded restaurant area, is across the street on the southeast corner.

“Competition is good,” said Moore. “Brings more traffic into town.”

This won’t be Moore’s first venture into the restaurant business in Sanilac County.

He owned the Forester Inn in Forester from 1993 to 1999, during which he turned the bar into a steakhouse.

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