Without further ado, your Idiotville feel-good stories of the week:
You know that feeling you get when you work for years toward your goal of opening your new business, get so close, and then a global pandemic forces everyone inside their homes for long enough to nuke the global economy? No? Well, at least two Erie men do, and they may need all of our help to make their dream a success.
First, a bit about these restaurants. We’ll start at 1023 State Street, the former site of Papa George’s and soon to be home of Chippers Seafood and Southern Fusion, owned by pastor and father of fourteen, Curtis Jones Sr. Jones and his wife Vicki, who is also a pastor. At 65, Jones decided he was ready to serve his flock in a new way. The challenge on which he chose to embark – new restaurants are risky ventures even during the best of times – is a bit like learning to surf in the middle of a hurricane, but Jones has weathered storms before.
As for the food, Chippers will be a fast food place featuring seafood staples such as crab, shrimp, and lobster but also southern favorites like chicken and waffles. Also on the menu will be vegetable bowls with seafood, pork, or beef. When is the last time you heard of crab or lobster at a fast food place? It sounds like a fun and creative idea without many similar options downtown.
If you’re looking for something on the west side, Bob Macyko will be opening Bob’s Steakhouse at West 12th & Peninsula. Macyko has spent three years and, by his count, over $1 million into his business so I’m sure the havoc brought on by the pandemic was just a barrel of laughs all the way around for him.
Faced with bills from his new real estate but no income, opening under tough circumstances became more appealing by the month. Macyko has successful business experience under his belt as the owner of Windsor Beach Technologies, and now hopes to carry that experience into the Wild world of food service.
With a name like Bob’s Steakhouse, you’ll be surprised to hear that this place will feature high end steaks from a guy named Bob who loves him some steak and hates subtlety. What more do you need to know? It’s got a modern look, a great location, and expects to open next month. I can’t wait.
“But Ted,” you’ll say, “why should I care about a couple of restaurants opening up when the virus makes inside dining feel like a game of roulette and they can’t even seat people at capacity? Aren’t these destined to fail?”
No! Well, maybe. This week’s good news is that even in this climate we have Erieites willing to put themselves out there in the first place. Without people like Curtis Jones Sr. and Bob Macyko being willing to risk so much on new ventures, our city wouldn’t be the hidden treasure it is. Their very act of trying is a sign of vibrancy for Erie and something we can all be proud of.
The second part of this is that these folks are going to need our help. They’ll need our dollars. They’ll need our likes and shares on Facebook (so far, only Chippers Seafood and Southern Fusion seems to have a Facebook page). They would prefer not to be opening their business during the worst economy and public health disaster the world has seen in 100 years, I am sure. They are here anyway, though, and who would we be here at Idiotville Podcast if we didn’t cheer and help out a couple of our own?