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Closed hot-dog shop will become Westerville Grill
Wednesday, January 27, 2010 11:36 AM By JENNIFER NESBITT ThisWeek Staff Writer
North Lewisburg chef Rick Stevens plans to open Chef Rick's Westerville Grill at 59 S. State St. where a restaurant with a similar name once operated.
The space most recently housed the Dog Joint, a gourmet hot-dog shop that opened in March 2008 and closed a month ago.
Stevens said he envisions his restaurant as a re-creation of the original Westerville Grille. His menu won't be identical to that of the old Westerville Grille, which closed in early 2007,
Stevens said, but it will feature similar American comfort food. "Basically, we're going back to the same style of restaurant it was when it was the Westerville Grille," he said. The menu will include hamburgers, fried bologna and sandwiches for lunch, with fried chicken, liver and onions, pork chops and meatloaf for dinner.
In the morning, diners will see a traditional breakfast lineup of pancakes, sausage and biscuits, steak and eggs, and omelets. Homemade pies and cakes will top off the menu.
Stevens is in the process of converting the Uptown location into a diner-style restaurant with tables and a breakfast counter. The atmosphere will be family friendly, he said.
His goal is to have the restaurant up and running by the middle or end of February. It will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
Stevens, a certified Master Chef with more than 40 years of experience, has owned Chef Rick's 559 Caf and Catering in North Lewisburg for three years. The restaurant features a home-style menu similar to what will be featured at the Westerville location.
During his career, Stevens has served presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, as well as Gov. Ted Strickland. Stevens said his daughter lives in Westerville, so he is familiar with the city. "I had eaten in the Westerville Grille," he said. "I went there a few times for breakfast, and I was very disappointed when they closed."
Stevens said he's excited to be opening an Uptown location and he's encouraged by the support he's seen from the community."So far, I've gotten a great response from the community," Stevens said. "I'm very impressed with Uptown."
He said his restaurant will serve homemade food in an atmosphere that's intended to make residents feel welcome. "I love people. I want them to feel at home in the place. I want them to feel like this is part of the community," Stevens said. "I like being part of the community that I'm involved with."
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