J’Ollies Restaurant to Open Later This Month in Shady Side
Any number of restaurants have tried to make a go of it at the building that sits at the corner of Shady Side Road and Cedarhurst Road in Shady Side. The spot has worked for a time as a biker bar, a seafood restaurant, and a neighborhood pub with open mic and comedy. But each of these has ultimately not been profitable enough to stay open.
A restaurateur, Frank Coombs, hopes that he can make it with his new venture (J’Ollies)—a great spot for breakfast, as well as American cuisine for lunch and dinner.
Coombs has three decades of experience with iHop, coincidentally opening in Edgewater this month too. He said the reason for opening the restaurant is that it is hard for a family to go out to eat, get a good meal and not have a huge bill. He promises that a couple can come to J’Ollies (that’s pronounced Jay-Ollies), and get a good breakfast for around $15.
His plan is already working at the successful restaurant he operates inside the Days Inn Motel in Lanham. He said it is a different clientele than he hopes to build in Shady Side, but the food and the process will be the same at both. Coombs said that he wants the focus of the restaurant to be family.
He said that for breakfast he will have waffles and pancakes from the griddle plus chipped beef and sausage gravy over homemade biscuits. He said that everything is cooked to order. There will be a kids meal on the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“I’m not competing with anyone around,” Coombs said, adding that he hopes the restaurant will complement the other eateries in the neighborhood like Snug Harbor Inn and Brick House Grill.
“I am not a newcomer to Shady Side,” he said.
Coombs has lived in Shady Side for years and wants the restaurant to be a place where people feel comfortable; where they can get a good meal for a reasonable price. Also, he’d like to keep everything about the place local. Already, he has hired 15 people, all locals of course.
“I’ve hired people from age 14 to 66,” Coombs said.
Coombs worked to make it his own. Inside and out it doesn’t show any of the history of the previous tenants. He painted bright colors on the outside and on the inside.
He kept the counter in back and the booths and tables in the front, but replaced and upgraded nearly all of the kitchen equipment. He added lighting in the dining room and cleared out a space along the counter so that waiters and visitors can see right into the action in the kitchen.
The restaurant will open sometime after Aug. 18.