When Steve and Mandi Rector opened the Honeymoon Grille in 2013, they didn’t know what to expect. The restaurant, which is located at the intersection of Portage Lakes Drive and Manchester Road, has been a popular breakfast and lunch spot.
Rector said when he bought the building it had been closed for a while but was formerly Honeymoon Donut. The building has served the couple well up until now as they want to be able to serve more customers, have more room to host events and be able to be open longer.
“We thought about a renovation,” Rector said. “We can accomplish more with a new building.”
He said being busy is a good problem to have.
“I am excited to have a building designed to be a restaurant,” Rector said.
Rector said prior to construction starting, he did explore a few other locations for the restaurant. He said he likes the area and said many nearby businesses are also making improvements.
Rector said he wants to offer casual dining and not be known as a special occasion place.
“We want to be an everyday kind of place,” Rector said.
He said he also wants to keep meals affordable. The new restaurant will be almost twice as big and will be able to seat just fewer than 100 people, compared to 60 right now. There will be a drive-thru where people can call in their order or place it online ahead of time.
All the current breakfast and lunch offerings will remain on the menu as Rector plans to add steaks, a couple pieces of chicken, fish and some pasta offerings. They are also obtaining a liquor license so customers can have a beer or a glass of wine with their meal.
Everything in the restaurant is expected to be new and there will still be counter seating, plus booths and tables. Hanging from the walls will be Portage Lakes then and now photos.
Rector said they also want to be able to offer more catering and events. The expanded space will allow them to section off an area to do that. Currently, the restaurant closes at 2 p.m. and he said he knows those who work during the day cannot always get to them by 2 p.m., so staying open later will beneficial. Rector expects the new restaurant to be open from 6 a.m. to either 8 or 9 p.m. He said the Sunday hours will likely stay the same as they are now.
He doesn’t want to lose focus on offering great service, which he said keeps people coming back. Hosting more community events is something Rector hopes to accomplish with his expanded space also.
“We are really involved with the schools and the community, Rector said. “We want to continue to be involved.”
Honeymoon Grille currently staffs about 15 to 16 people and once the new space is open, Rector expects in add another 15 to 20 people.
The restaurant will be part of a small plaza with another tenant next door and Rector said he may add additional suits onto the building down the road.
“We wanted to do it in stages,” Rector said.
Nothing has been finalized regarding who will be the tenet next to the restaurant, but he said he has been in talks with some local companies. He said it obviously won’t be food related but he said it could be retail or even an insurance company.
Once the new building is complete, the old building is expected to be demolished, which will allow for additional parking.
Down the line, Rector said he wouldn’t mind taking his restaurant blueprint to another community and opening another location.
Rector is hopeful the new restaurant can open by April, but that depends heavily on the weather. He said there has been a good working relationship with the construction workers as many of them are local.
This story was also published in The Suburbanite. www.thesuburbanite.com