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Support humbling for Ohio Grille owners
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By Carol McIntire
When Tyler Barrett and Mitchell Galliher purchased the Ohio Grille in December 2019, they had no way of foreseeing what they would face just three months later.
“When Governor DeWine and Ohio Director of Health Dr. Amy Acton made the announcement that restaurants could only serve take-out food, my first thought was Oh _ _ _ _!” Tyler said last week between serving customers at the 715 Canton Rd., Carrollton eatery. “Our only real option was to keep it open. It was do or die for us.”
Mitchell described the first day under the new order as “scary.”
“We didn’t have many customers that day and I kept wondering if we would have to close,” he commented. “It was very scary.”
As the next few days passed, the two received a welcome boost.
“People started coming in saying they wanted to support local business and asking us to stay open. Between their pledge to support us and our desire to stay open and serve our community, it is working,” said Mitchell.
The Ohio Grille team is offering curbside service and take-out delivery. Orders are accepted online through the website, www.theohiogrille.com, over the phone and on a walk-in basis. The recent announcement by Gov. DeWine that restaurants with a liquor license could sell alcohol with food orders was another welcome boost.
“The support of the community has been humbling,” said an emotional Mitchell. “It has been unreal,” Tyler added. “We can’t thank this community enough for the support they are showing us.”
The pair of food junkies believe they owe a large part of that support to the foundation they built in the community prior to the purchase of the business.
Both are Carrollton High School graduates – Tyler in 2008 and Mitchell in 2009 – and both have a passion for food and hospitality.
Both owners trace their experience in food service to Carrollton businesses.
Mitchell’s first job in food service was at McDonald’s, where he worked midnights while attending college. “I really enjoyed the midnight shift,” he explained. He also worked at two different Dairy Queen locations while working on obtaining a bachelor’s degree in teaching. After graduating he joined the tech crew at Carrollton High School, where he’s worked the past two years.
Tyler, who admits in high school, he had no plans of one day owning his own burger joint, said his first job out of high school was as a waiter at Pizza Hut.
“One day I saw the owners of the former Smoke the Burger Joint (now Ohio Grille) and asked them if I could get an application as they were closing the business. They told me stop back, so I did and was hired on the spot. I went from cook to general manager in one year.”
Smoke transformed into Ohio Grille and eventually the opportunity to purchase the business presented itself.
“We thought it was a great idea,” the pair said almost in unison. For them, the best part of owning the business is the opportunity to express themselves through food.
“The coolest thing is having control over the menu,” commented Mitchell, with Tyler chiming in, “and being able to try new things.”
Even in difficult times, the two are trying new things.
Just last week, they introduced stir fry to the menu. Much to their delight, it was a hit the first day with 38 orders filled. Stir fry is available as the Friday feature with chicken, steak or shrimp.
The business is commonly called a “sandwich shop” but it’s much more than that. The menu includes Rueben sandwiches, chicken, grilled cheese and pulled pork that is baked overnight for 12 hours. Hand-cut French fries are a customer favorite, available with a variety of different seasonings. Fish, salads quesadillas and several varieties of craft and domestic beer fill the menu.
As the pair navigates through uncertain times, they remain positive and have their eye on the future.
“Our long term goal is to open up additional Ohio Grille locations in the area,” Tyler said. “We don’t want to be a fast food restaurant and have found people are willing to wait a couple minutes longer when you’re not serving them fast food. We know these are ambitious goals. For now, we are taking it one day at a time, but we believe one day we will be able to reach that goal with the support of the community.”
For now, plans are to continue serving the community with take-out orders and be ready to move forward with dine-in service as soon as Governor DeWine gives the go-ahead.
Current hours are Monday through Thursday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The grille is closed Sunday. Orders can be placed by calling 330-476-6312. They plan to resume regular hours when the Stay at Home order is lifted.
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