daves taverna and dukes liberty work better together

New restaurant/gas station offering intended to pull in new business.

Dave’s Taverna Express is moving in with Dukes Liberty gas station and convenience store.

Dave Miller, owner and operator of Dave’s Downtown Taverna, hopes to expand his Taverna Express business with a larger kitchen, seating for 20 and expanded storage. Dukes Liberty is owned by Holtzman Corp., and will continue to provide gasoline.

“It will continue to be called Dukes Liberty,” Miller told the Rocktown Weekly. “We’ll run Dave’s, maintain a small convenience store and manage the [gas] pumps.”

Bill Holtzman, president of the Holtzman Corp., closed the station in August to begin a $50,000 renovation of the building that should be finished by early September.

“It will be totally renovated when he opens,” Holtzman said. “It’s a combined effort. We’ll do the structural work and [Miller] will handle the restaurant part.”

Miller plans to close the current Dave’s Taverna Express at 810 Port Republic Road “on or around Aug. 31,” he said. “We should reopen at the Liberty station around mid-September. We don’t want to close for any significant length of time.”

Miller hopes to grow the Taverna Express business, which is currently about 30 to 40% of what the Downtown Taverna does.

“We’d like to jump that up to 60 or 70% of what we do downtown, and we want a business that’s not subject to seasonal downturns,” he said referring to the come and go business brought by the students of local James Madison University. By entering into this new endeavor, Miller hopes to bring in more business from the general public.

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