Willmeng Construction recently wrapped up work on one of the most highly-anticipated restaurants in the East Valley, delivering Buck & Rider’s latest location at Epicenter in Gilbert. The restaurant held a ribbon-cutting event with Gilbert Mayor Bridgette Peterson and several members of the Gilbert Town Council on hand.
“We’re excited to be part of the Town of Gilbert. We’ve invested in the Town, and we’re excited about the community,” said Buck & Rider CEO Adam Strecker. “A special thanks to (Epicenter developer) Joe Johnston for getting us out here and convincing us to come to Epicenter. We can’t wait to bring the freshest seafood to Gilbert.”
“Every single town and city in Arizona wants a Buck & Rider because it’s a rising star in the industry,” said Johnston, who developed Agritopia and now Epicenter in Gilbert. “We’re happy to be a part of their plans here at Epicenter.”
The restaurant features more than 7,000 square feet, as well as a large outdoor bar and patio area. Buck & Rider, which is renowned for its fresh, flown-in-daily seafood, has two other Valley locations, at 43rd St. and Camelback in Phoenix and along E. Mayo Blvd, just west of N. Scottsdale Rd. The Gilbert location is just the latest retail or dining establishment to find a home at Epicenter.
“Any time you partner up with Buck & Rider and Joe Johnston and do it in Gilbert, you know that the expectations are going to be high, and I couldn’t be more proud of our team and what they delivered,” said Willmeng CEO James Murphy. “We’re grateful to Adam and Joe for their vision on this project, and we know that the Gilbert community is going to be thrilled to have Buck & Rider so close by.”
Willmeng’s team created an inviting and contemporary dining experience, executing interior and exterior updates such as replacing windows, doors, flooring, and walls and installing new fixtures. The exterior was improved with the addition of trees, shrubs, and vines, as well as a new planter, gate, and a bronze statue. The interior features a new bar top, acoustical tile and grid ceiling in the kitchen and stainless-steel restroom partitions. The renovation also involved painting the new interior and exterior parts of the building, ensuring a seamless integration with the existing structure.
All of this was done on a short, 6-month timeline, and Willmeng was able to finish in time for the weather to begin cooling, making the outdoor patio space more accessible to diners.