ST. CLAIRSVILLE - The Main Street Grill and Cafe is getting some notice since Karen Patterson of Ohio University ranked the establishment among the state's top eateries in her recently published book, "Eating your way across Ohio: 101 must places to eat."
John Coyne, owner, said the feather in his cap was the result of the establishment's policy of commitment to quality. He added that Patterson was an anonymous customer when she patronized the restaurant in June and only later informed him of her intent to include the review in her book, which covers restaurants across 7,000 miles around Ohio.
In the Main Stree Grill review Patterson calls it a classy restaurant and mentions such decor as the hardwood floors and stained glass windows. She also complimented the fresh, clean atmosphere and described the experience as big town elegance without big town prices. A brief history of the eatery since its opening in 2009 is included in the review, as well as praise to Josh Powers, former head chef, who since moved on.
TL Photo/ROBERT A. DEFRANK
John Coyne, owner of Main Street Grill and Cafe in St. Clairsville, right, is shown with Chuck Grantzer, head chef, at left. Coyne’s restaurant received a write up in “Eating your way across Ohio: 101 must places to eat.”
"I think it was a combination of the ambiance and the city of St. Clairsville," Coyne said. "My reaction to her visit was very grateful."
He said that during the renovation process a high priority was placed on maintaining the historic feel of the structure. He noted the main street theme, with pictures of main streets from around the country decorating the walls. He noted that he worked with the St. Clairsville Historic District.
"What an absolute honor. Ohio is a big state," he said, adding that he is grateful for the community support. "St. Clairsville has received us very well and they support us."
He added that much of their business comes from the courthouse.
The restaurant is often hired to cater to jurors during lengthy trials.
They also deliver to all area businesses as far as Bannock, from the prison to the Health Plan to smaller establishments. Coyne noted that this accounts for a significant percentage of their output.
"If someone wants a sandwich, we'll deliver if they have a business," he said.
Chuck Grantzer is now at the helm of the kitchen. He was a former manager at Outback steakhouse.
"The team I have here now is by far the best I've had in nearly two years," Coyne said. "The hardest thing in the restaurant business is to get established. It takes at least a good two years to do that. We've just started our third year. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising and we are definitely getting that."
A longtime resident of Florida, Coyne brings a selection of foods from that region to his tables. He noted the breads are from Cellone's Bakery. The vegetables are purchased fresh daily from Jebbia's Market in Wheeling.
He added that the review may attract further attention.
"People are interested in going somewhere different," he said.
In the future, Coyne plans to apply for a beer and wine license. In the fall he will add Friday and Saturday night acoustic guitar performances. Hours will also expand, he said.
"Eating your way across Ohio" is a follow-up to Patterson's earlier book of reviews, "Eating your way across Kentucky."
"It was a very popular book," Coyne said, noting that the Ohio book is on display in the restaurant.
Main Street Grill is located at 110 W. Main St. in St. Clairsville.
DeFrank can be reached at email@example.com.