SALEM - Remodeling is already under way as the Wing Warehouse transforms into JD's Wood Fired Grill.
Bobbi Smith, general manager and head chef, said the Wing Warehouse will close on March 9 and reopen on March 15 when the switch over is finalized.
It was just a few years ago Jamie Kessler purchased the building at 441 S. Ellsworth Ave. and changed it to a Wing Warehouse.
Smith, who will be returning to Salem with over 20 years experience in the restaurant business, has been with Kessler since 2005 when she left the Hickory Rib after seven years.
She has put her time in at Timberlanes Restaurant and Motor Inn, Dawson's in Alliance and at the Congress Lake Country Club in Hartville, before being named general manager and head chef at JD's.
Preparations have been ongoing for a over a year for Smith who has created "a compilation of many dishes that have a very unique flavor profile."
Kessler, who retains ownership of Wing Warehouses in Warren and Norton, said, "JD's Wood Fired Grill will be a unique dining experience from the homemade fine rolls served with cinnamon burgers to the handmade burgers and steaks. There will be something for everyone on the menu."
Customers have already noticed neon signs, photos and old decorations disappear as preparations for the big renovation push begins.
Smith said the wood floor will be "ripped out" and replaced with all-new tile while new paint, tables, booths and a number of flat-screen televisions will be added.
The restaurant has a seating capacity for 207 people and when the remodeling is complete there will be 11 televisions and three Keno monitors.
The rear patio will receive a new treatment with new furniture and the "tiki hut" will be removed in the spring.
A new, oval front door will greet customers, Smith said, adding, "once you hit the front door, you're going to know it's different."
The pool table and dart tossing area will remain and three new booths will be installed in the back.
Smith said a remodeled kitchen is being built to showcase the new wood-fired grill on which steaks, burgers, chicken and sandwiches will be cooked. The grill is the first indoor wood-fired grill in Salem.
"The wood-fired grill provides a unique flavor," Smith said. "It gives meat a special taste."
All of that taste will be found on a four-page menu that includes fresh-baked rolls, prime rib, ribeye, triple prime burgers, chicken dishes and wraps.
Smith mentioned a dish called a Del Monico steak sandwich served with caramelized red onions and mushroom caps. It will be highlighted on the menu, she said.
JD's will specialize in triple prime hand-crafted burgers made daily and hand-cut steak and prime rib will accompany a variety of wood-fired chicken dinners on the menu including one that Smith called "our trademark bourbon-glaze."
The trademark glaze is a burger condiment too.
"We also have fresh soup made daily, some of Salem's finest," Smith said, adding there is a large assortment of salad, sandwiches, wraps and appetizers for everyone.
Currently employing seven, Kessler expects increase that to 20 or 30 full- and part-time employees.
Kitchen hours will be from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. on Sunday.
The full-service bar is open until 2:30 a.m. each night.
Call 330-337-9800 for more information.
Larry Shields can be reached at email@example.com