Chestnut Logs might reopen as steakhouse in Waynesboro

October 23, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - This is a time of change for the restaurant scene in Waynesboro, with the opening of one chain establishment delayed, another seeking to enter the community and two old businesses coming under new ownership.

"What we are trying to do is put our big toe in the water to see if there are candidates interested in opening a Huddle House," Franchise Development Director David Boatright said just days after an Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar representative confirmed their Rouzerville Commons location won't open until early 2007.

Huddle House, celebrating 40 years of business, has restaurants in 18 states, including North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Florida and Georgia, according to Boatright.

"We're trying to get into Maryland as well," said Boatright, who described the restaurant as a family diner.

"It gives an alternative to the run-of-the-mill, high-activity restaurant," Boatright said.

The restaurant chain, which served 125 million cups of coffee last year, has had "preliminary discussions" with potential franchisees in Waynesboro, Boatright said.


As the two chain restaurants considered their future, local restaurateur Robert Curley prepared to close on a Pa. 16 property that he hopes to reopen as an independently owned steakhouse.

"The front and back are going to be more comfortable for all ages," Curley said, describing how the former Chestnut Logs was split with family seating in the rear and a bar in the front. Curley, the owner of Red Run Grill with a location outside Waynesboro and another set to open in Chambersburg, Pa., said it's "highly likely" the former Chestnut Logs will have a name change.

"Right now, it's a dead restaurant. It could be a happening place in a short amount of time," Curley said, estimating the business should open within six months.

Two miles west on Pa. 16 is the John Wallace Kitchen, which recently received a fresh coat of paint and is supposed to start serving international cuisine by Christmas.

"I'll be the designer of the menu, and I'll be the designer of the recipe. I'm going to hire one of the best local chefs, or I'll bring someone from Washington," owner Aziz Lahlou said.

Fresh, high-quality meats will be served in the Italian, French, American, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, and live entertainment will create ambiance Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Lahlou said. That entertainment will include half-hour performances by belly dancers, he said.

Other entertainment could include piano, violin and flute music, Lahlou said.

"I'm sure I'm going to be able to find Waynesboro people who play piano or play the flute," Lahlou said.

Apartments on the upper floors of the John Wallace Kitchen, which likely will keep its name, are being converted into suite-style hotel rooms.

The restaurant will be geared toward families and meetings, Lahlou said. Out-of-town businesspeople can use the rooms upstairs for their stay and then meet downstairs, he said.

"We're not going to serve alcohol," Lahlou said.

However, Curley is trying to obtain a liquor license for the former Chestnut Logs.

The Herald-Mail Articles