A new restaurant preparing to open in Legacy Pointe has a familiar name at the helm.

“This is all I’ve ever done,” said Dustin Coons, owner of Legacy Pointe Eatery, 1130 Legacy Pointe Drive. “I started out in the restaurant industry at 16 years old, washing dishes at Charlie Parker’s.”

Coons later worked at Panther Creek Country Club before moving away to work in restaurants in Chicago and Atlanta. He returned to Springfield to help with the opening of Finley’s Tap House in October 2017, working as the executive chef. Most recently, he worked at Sangamo Brewing Co. in Chatham.

“I’ve been a part of opening restaurants twice, so I’ve seen how it goes,” Coons said. “I was a part of the Finley’s build out, and it’s a big process. I was looking to find something for myself that was a bit more turnkey.”

When his Realtor showed him the former Fox Run Restaurant and Lounge space, Coons said he felt it was a good fit. “It was a successful restaurant before, Keith (Ayre) just ran into issues with the pandemic.”

Coons said he was able to use the existing floor plan but is trying to give the interior a facelift. “We wanted to freshen things up so we stand out when people come in, and it doesn’t just look like the old Fox Run with a new name.”

Brady Thompson, who previously worked with Coons at both Finley’s Tap House and Sangamo Brewing Co., will serve as the chef. Coons said Legacy Pointe Eatery  will have a double-decker brick pizza oven and also offer a gluten-free dough recipe.

“We’re going to do some artisan, gluten-free flatbreads and also have vegetarian options on the menu. People are a lot more conscious of what they’re eating these days, and it’s a fun challenge to come up with menu items,” he said.

Coons said his target timeline is to hold a soft opening Sept. 15-17 and open to the public on Tuesday, Sept. 20. Open interviews will be held on Aug. 15, 17 and 19 to fill 25-30 positions.

Hours of operation will initially be Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

“Every chef’s dream is to open their own restaurant,” Coons said. “I’m not going to wake up one day and wonder, ‘What if I would have done that?’”