On The Menu
By Guy D’Astolfo
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Rich Kaszowski and Chris Davis say they are jumping into the restaurant-bar business in the right place and at the right time.
The two are co-owners of Tequila Coyote, which is slated to open in late May or early June in the Wick Building, downtown. Tequila Coyote will offer Mexican and American food. A central bar with seating for about 30 will anchor the rectangular room, with high-top tables around its sides and regular tables and chairs at the rear, where the kitchen is being built.
The business partners say they are spending between $350,000 and $400,000 on the restaurant, which will have a capacity of 109 and employ about 30.
The manager will be restaurateur Israel Zambrano, who owns Los Gallos in Boardman and El Cowboy in Austintown.
Kaszowski works for Ohio Edison and also owns Extreme Air trampoline park in Austintown. Davis works for Sweeney Chevrolet and is a part-owner of El Cowboy. With the city beginning work next week to turn North Phelps Street between West Federal and West Commerce streets into a pedestrian mall and nightlife area, the partners say the timing is perfect.
It’s the first restaurant for both men, but they say their experience has prepared them.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Kaszowski says. “I met a couple of guys and we talked about it and we’re putting our dreams into action.”
“I’m at the age now where I’m ready,” says Davis. “I want to capture the moment.”
The location was the site of the bars 9ine and The Core more than a decade ago, but it has sat vacant for years. The co-owners have gutted it and are completely renovating it.
Tequila Coyote will join two other restaurants – Prima Cucina Italiana and Gringo’s Tacos and Tequila – that will open this spring near the intersection of Federal and Phelps streets.
It will feature a mostly glass wall along the Phelps Street side, and – if approved by the city – glass doors that can be opened in a telescoping fashion to allow access to the pedestrian mall.
Televisions will be placed on the walls at regular intervals. An LED-like sign will be mounted on the exterior that will be visible to passing traffic.
The restaurant will be open seven days a week, says Kaszowski.
“We’re not sure of the hours yet, but we will definitely offer lunch and dinner, and maybe even breakfast,” he says. “We want to really hit the lunch market.”
Davis says they hope to carve out a niche by having a daily happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m.
The menu will include Mexican staples but also burgers, steaks and other American foods. Both co-owners say that customer service will be their main focus.
“When I walk into a bar, I want them to say ‘Chris, how are you doing,’ and know what I’m drinking and what I’m doing,” Davis says. “It’s all about the atmosphere. I want everyone to have the Disney World experience, where everyone is a VIP.”
Kaszowski stresses that they want to be part of the downtown community.
“This is our backyard,” he says. “We are definitely a part of this community. It’s where we work, where we eat. There is opportunity here. We want to be an asset to downtown, to make more people want to come here.”
Posted Feb. 21, 2020.
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