By Ryan Cornell
A Woodstock restaurant scheduled to open between April and May will feature what is traditionally considered ballpark cuisine, though owner Coe Sherrard said it will maintain the same family atmosphere as the Woodstock Café & Shoppes, which he also owns.
The restaurant, called "The Other Place" after the town's "The Other Woodstock" tagline, is located on Main Street directly to the right of the café. Sherrard said he plans to connect the two businesses from the inside and make the hours of The Other Place "more evening-oriented."
"We're excited and the town seems to be excited about it," he said. "It's a little unusual for a restaurant to open up their own competition, but it's a different category and we've had terrific success with the café."
Announcing the plans at a Shenandoah County Tourism Council meeting on Tuesday, he said the menu will focus on "burgers, brews and brats." He said the 6-ounce burgers will be hand-ground from locally sourced beef on specialty rolls, and the brats will be topped with "as much local product as we can get." The beer, he said, will mostly be from microbreweries, though he emphasized that he's not looking to make The Other Place a bar.
The prices of the fare will be comparable to food at the café, he said.
"That was part of our concern," he said. "If the price was much lower, it would affect our business here."
He said he's asked culinary students at Triplett Tech to experiment with recipes.
"I've never had a veggie burger that I've liked, they always taste mealy," he said. "They're working on an assignment to come up with a good veggie burger."
Sherrard said he purchased the location, which is about half the size of the café, about two weeks ago. The latest business there was Zee's, a restaurant specializing in Mediterranean and Croatian food.
"Right next door, we've seen five different businesses go in and out and we're kind of tired of seeing the swinging door over there," he said. "Frankly, our town and the area isn't flush with good eating places."
He said the 22 employees at the café will get priority on choosing if they would like to work shifts at The Other Place, though additional positions will be available starting in early spring.
Sherrard said the restaurant would improve the downtown streetscape.
"We think that by expanding our footprint, it'll give people one more reason to get off 81 and venture into town," he said.
Contact staff writer Ryan Cornell at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or firstname.lastname@example.org