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In the News

By Brittany Tutt, CT
November 5, 2014

In a special City Council executive session held at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, November 4, 2014, in the council chambers at City Hall, it was decided unanimously by the council (5-0) to approve a contract and authorize the mayor to sign that contract for space in the Fast Lanes Bowling Center to be leased to Kevin Murray of Chillicothe. The contract will allow Murray to lease the current restaurant space in the bowling alley center for a new sports grill and pub, called Jerseys Sports Grill and Pub.

Murray, owner of Chillicothe's Golden Corral for the past 16 years, told members of the council that he planned to make an immediate investment in the facility. He plans to replace the carpet, purchase sports-themed chairs, put up a wall between the restaurant and bowling alley to reduce noise (however, the wall will have windows so customers can still see the bowling alley), purchase outdoor seating, incorporate 10 to 13 televisions into the space and work on the volleyball courts so there can be spring and summer leagues this coming year. Murray is also planning to replace the laser tag area with a banquet hall for events, such as, family reunions, in which Jerseys will cater. The banquet hall is located at the south end of the facility, and the restaurant will be on the north end.

Murray has hired a chef, who is currently his assistant manager at Golden Corral, Blake Keller. Keller graduated from Southwest R-1 in Ludlow and attended culinary school in Las Vegas before returning to Chillicothe to start his family with his wife, Tessa. Murray said Keller has been looking for an opportunity to be more creative and working for a franchise has made that impossible. Murray said recipes from franchises are not allowed to be changed in any way. With Keller becoming his chef at Jerseys, it will allow Keller to have the freedom to come up with new and exciting recipes whenever he wants. Along with Keller, Murray plans to hire about 10 to 15 more staff members (servers, cooks and bartenders). Murray said the menu will consist of a lot of bold flavored items that are made to order. The menu will include wings, steaks, burgers, wraps and pastas.

Murray said the reason he wanted to start this business was because he always saw the north side of town as a diamond in the rough. With the new hospital, sporting facility and prison, along with the bowling alley and theater, Murray said there is finally enough traffic at the north end of town to support a restaurant. Murray said he recently had a friend open up a grill and pub that is doing very well in Hannibal, Mo. After his friend explained everything he added to his business, such as, volleyball courts, etc., Murray thought to himself, 'we already have a place like that.' "There is no better place for a sports grill and pub," Murray said. "People can come in, sit down and enjoy a good meal while watching sports, and their kids can go bowl or play arcade games, volleyball or pool," Murray said.

Murray plans for Jerseys to open on the first of December if everything goes as planned, and he expects the grill and pub to go over extremely well with the community. "I think people will be pleased with it. There will be great food and great service," Murray said.

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