Reader question: Do you know what’s going into O’Charley’s old building?
Answer: Yes and no. It’s an independent restaurant that aims to be up and running June 13, or shortly thereafter.
Some details, like the name, are still under wraps.
Here’s what I’ve found out so far:
The former O’Charley’s building at 3775 W. College Ave., just east of U.S. 41 in Grand Chute, was sold on Friday to three partners: Carlos Victoria, Bruce Gerondale and Sam Servin.
Workers are now busy preparing the place to reopen as a restaurant serving Mexican, Italian and American food. The sign says “coming soon” and “fresh authentic cuisine.”
The big assumption — which at this point appears to be wrong — was that the building was going to become a Tilted Kilt restaurant. On Monday, there was a red plaid Hummer parked outside the building with Tilted Kilt written on its side. The three partners in this venture also own the Tilted Kilt in Oshkosh.
“It’s not a Tilted Kilt,” said partner Carlos Victoria. “Tilted Kilt is a sports bar. I don’t think a sports bar would fit here. It’s not right. This is going to be completely different.”
The space, which has been vacant for exactly one year today, is getting cleaned and new paint colors inside. But the space inside is not being reconfigured. It is set up as a restaurant with multiple smaller dining areas. It has a relatively small bar.
The overall restaurant is large, 6,700 square feet. It was built in 2006 for reportedly $3 million. After closing May 21, 2012, it was put up for sale and had two committed buyers fall out before this sale was signed. The most recent asking price was $890,000, but Victoria wouldn’t say how much they paid for it.
The owners of the new venture had not applied for a liquor license as of Monday. The restaurant qualifies for a full Class B liquor license under an exemption rule because it has more than 300 seats.
This incoming restaurant is a new concept, said Janet Servin, the new restaurant’s manager and co-owner Sam Servin’s daughter.
“There are a lot of chains around here and this is not a chain,” she said. “We’ve been planning this for 24 months and now everything is being put in place.”
“We knew we wanted to make a restaurant of our own. We’ve been cooking since we were 14,” Victoria added.
He and Servin, by the way, are cousins of Chris Victoria, a well-known restaurateur who owns Victoria’s in downtown Appleton. Serin is also a part-owner of Victoria’s in Rochester, Minn.
That leaves two unanswered questions:
1) What’s the name of the incoming restaurant?
It will be made public about five days before the opening, said Servin. “(Co-owner) Bruce Gerondale says he wants to keep it a secret to excite people and keep them waiting.”
2) If it’s not a Tilted Kilt, why park the Tilted Kilt Hummer outside the restaurant?
Victoria said it’s the vehicle he drives to advertise his other venture, the Oshkosh Tilted Kilt. He added that one day they do intend to put a Tilted Kilt branch in Appleton if the right building becomes available.
— Maureen Wallenfang: 920-993-1000, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @wallenfang