Martinsville loses restaurant

The first restaurant to open in Martinsville’s massive Wal-Mart-anchored Grand Valley retail center has closed.

Damon’s Grill, which opened in 2001, had been struggling for years. Franchise owner Bennet Ackerman bought the restaurant in 2007 and has been losing money ever since.

Ackerman owned three Damon’s locations and has closed them all. The others were in Greenwood and at Southport Road and Interstate 65 in Indianapolis. Columbus, Ohio-based Damon’s still has two locations in Indianapolis, at Interstate 465 and Kentucky Avenue, and along East 21st Street.

The Martinsville location was the hardest to close, said Ackerman, who also owns D’Vine Wine Bar and The Melting Pot in Indianapolis. The restaurant was particularly busy on IU football and basketball game days, thanks to fans who stopped for a bite on their return trip from Bloomington. Martinsville residents also were loyal.

The owners are trying to find a regional or national restaurant player to take over the lease and purchase the equipment.

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