STRASBURG — A yellow and brown food trailer parked in front of a building on Massanutten Street is catching the eye of passing drivers. The hand-written sign on top of the trailer proclaims it to be the home of The Pancake Underground.
While eye-catching and a novelty, the food trailer will be in full use soon as the kitchen for a restaurant. Owners Shenan Hahn and Christopher Kemp hope to have The Pancake Underground open by late March.
Until then, work will continue in the building behind the trailer to get the place ready to welcome customers in for breakfast.
The look inside the restaurant is rustic. Hahn and Kemp have already installed new faux barn wood-looking walls and floors, as well as an edge shelf attached to a wall in the dining room. On the walls are items from the area, including an old yoke to hang coats.
Red leather booths, a sofa and chairs give the dining room a comfortable look.
Kemp grew up in Harrisonburg and Hahn grew up in Arlington. The two did not know each other until they met in Oregon. They started The Pancake Underground in 2017 in the competitive food market of Portland, Oregon, with the concept of sweet and savory pancakes.
While in Oregon, the Food Network wrote an article called “50 States of Food Trucks” that featured the Pancake Underground for Oregon.
“That was a big honor,” Hahn said.
The two returned to the area about eight months ago with the idea of opening The Pancake Underground in Strasburg.
While they focused on pancakes in Oregon, when they open in Strasburg they will have an expanded menu that Hahn describes as creative upscale breakfast items, including traditional big breakfasts with meats, breakfast burritos, French Toast and more, along with the trusted pancakes.
They also expect to offer weekly specials, such as a Monte Cristo pancake, described by Hahn as French Toast battered pancakes with ham and cheese, blackberry jam, powdered sugar and maple syrup.
The Pancake Underground can already be booked for events that have kitchen facilities at the site. They have already been seen at Siblings Rivalry, where on the second Saturday of every month they serve a $10 buffet with beer mimosas.