Rhone and Zachmeier

Ben Zachmeier, left, and Randy Rhone, co-owners of Dickey's Barbecue Pit, are aiming to open the restaurant early next month at Memorial Square Shopping Center on the "Strip" in Mandan. 

A fledgling eatery set to open in Mandan next month was given an increased business incentive of $17,999 by city officials aiming to give the restaurant help in getting off the ground.

The increased money is in conjunction with Pit Masters LLC's decision to expand Dickey's Barbeque Pit, which the company has been developing for about a year and is planned to open at 4524 Memorial Highway S.E., in the Memorial Square Shopping Center. The space for the restaurant will be increased by more than 1,200 square feet to a total size of nearly 3,700 square feet.

In August, a local match of $20,370 through the city's Restaurant Rewards Program was approved for Pit Masters. This latest request is in addition to that original figure.

“Is it common that we revisit Growth Fund projects?” asked Commissioner Scott Davis, who expressed concern on how the request would impact the remaining balance for buy-down dollars set aside for the city’s Restaurant Rewards Program. The program allows for the local share of the buy-down to be provided in the form of a forgivable loan.

“This is really quite unique,” said Mandan Business Development Director Ellen Huber, adding that Pit Masters is the only group thus far to utilize the incentive.

Nearly $123,300 of the $162,000 set aside for restaurants would remain, enough for multiple other businesses to make requests, she said.

Ben Zachmeier, with Pit Masters LLC, said final work on the business is close to being completed.

“I want the cash flow to go the other direction for sure,” Zachmeier said, drawing laughter from the audience.

(Reach Nick Smith at 701-250-8255 or 701-223-8482 or at nick.smith@bismarcktribune.com.)