Hangouts Grill to open soon in Strasburg

By Katie Demeria

STRASBURG — Randall Hamman of Strasburg has worked with local eateries for 20 years. At age 16 he got his first job with Fox’s Pizza, and has now decided to start his own restaurant.

Hamman recently leased the restaurant space beside the Ramada Inn at 19 Signal Knob Drive and plans to open Hangouts Grill in mid-September.

According to Hamman, it is unclear why the restaurant that previously rented the space moved out. But it gave Hamman an opportunity — having worked for franchises throughout most of his career, he is ready to start his own brand.

Hammon and his partner Samantha Butler originally considered leasing the Strasburg theater and calling the restaurant Hangouts Cafe, but when the building beside the hotel became available they could not pass up the opportunity.

“It’s going to be an American restaurant,” Hammon said, comparing it to popular franchises like Applebees and T.G.I. Friday’s, but with “a more hometown environment.”

With a background working in fast food restaurants in Winchester, Woodstock and Front Royal, as well as franchise restaurants like Cracker Barrel and Golden Corral, Hamman said he was ready to start his own brand.

“I’ve done it all my life, and we have this chance now, and we want to take advantage of it,” Hamman said.

Both he and Butler pointed out that Strasburg does not yet support a restaurant like Hangouts, and they are hoping to be actively involved in the community.

Hamman plans to host regular events that would involve the whole family, including kid karaoke.

“We want it to have a family atmosphere, so people can come and bring their kids,” Hamman said. “No rowdy crowds, and maybe some themed nights that people would like.”

The restaurant will serve alcohol, but the bar is in a separate area away from the regular diners.

Hangouts’ brand is going to center on community engagement, Hamman said. He hopes to open several more restaurants in the future, expanding to reach other local areas.

But, for now, he and Butler are focused on their first location, preparing a menu and ensuring they are ready to open soon.

“If we open the doors, we’re not shutting them,” Hamman said.

Prices will be reasonable, he added. Most entrees will fall between the $10 and $20 range, with kid’s dinners offered at around $5.

The restaurant is hiring now. Hamman expects to take on 20 to 30 employees.

Both Hamman and Butler want to accept ideas from the community, they added, and hope to continue doing so after Hangouts opens.

They are paying attention to food trends, they added, and expect to add gluten free and vegetarian dishes to their menu, as well as traditional favorites.

“We don’t want to limit ourselves,” Hamman said. “We don’t want it to be the same old, same old. It should be interesting and different. We’re going to look ahead to see what’s going to be the next thing.”

To find out more, email Hangouts at hangoutsgrill@gmail.com or visit http://www.facebook.com/hangoutsrestaurant.

Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kdemeria@nvdaily.com