Month: December 2014
Clams casino, open oysters and Maryland style crab cakes all in Pike County? No, it is not a dream; it’s a meal at The Grand Restaurant and Tavern.
The Grand offers Waverly residents a taste of the shore by serving fresh-caught seafood delivered from Ocean City, Maryland. Owner Phil Sager drives between Waverly and Ocean City to supply his restaurant and treat landlocked Pike County to a unique dining experience.
During Christmas 2004, Sager returned to his hometown of Waverly to see that a lot of old buildings were being demolished in town. One of those buildings was The Grand Hotel. Sager says he thought back to his younger days and remembered the good times he had at the hotel. “That’s when I got the bright idea to restore it,” Sager says. “It’s been a project ever since.”
When Sager moved to Maryland, he fell in love with the local seafood. Maryland is known for its shore cuisine so he wanted a way to bring that same feel back to his hometown. “I wanted to give people inland a chance to visit the beach,” Sager says.
In 2009, Sager took the risk of turning The Grand into a restaurant that specializes in seafood. He says he was nervous in the beginning because diners were unfamiliar with the cuisine. Though slow at first, locals warmed up to the new menu.
Sager says most Pike County residents, especially the older ones, have not traveled as far east as Maryland. He says he definitely took a risk opening a niche restaurant like The Grand in a meat-and-potatoes town. “Their seafood primarily comes from a supply house or frozen from a box,” Sager says of other local options.
Each week, Sager finds out what the restaurant needs and picks it up from the docks and fish markets in Ocean City. Every Thursday morning, he drives the shipment to the restaurant and stays the weekend. Sager has lived in Maryland for 30 years and still loves the drive. Sager’s daughter and his ex-wife manage the restaurant during the week while Sager is on the road or in Ocean City. For them, seafood has become a family business.
One of the most popular dishes on the menu is the seafood platter. It comes with:
- Flounder filets
- Crab cakes
- Steamed shrimp
- Bacon wrapped shrimp with a hickory smoke barbeque sauceD
The Grand’s recipe for Maryland crab cakes, the restaurant’s most-popular standalone dish, was submitted to Time magazine by Maryland governor Martin O’Malley.
Chillicothe resident Chuck Dunlap says he had never seen them take a live lobster out of the tank and cook it. “It was cooked perfectly and served as fresh as you will ever get in Southern Ohio,” Dunlap posts on Facebook.
Local Dave Fosson commends Sager on his hard work. “I truly appreciate what a local entrepreneur is doing for a depressed area of Ohio,” Fosson says in a Facebook review. Other diners praise the large portion sizes and, of course, great food.
Now that The Grand offers a taste of the East Coast, Sager says he has no plans on changing anything else. He’s enjoying where his restaurant is at right now and is looking forward to more years of success and seafood.
by Arielle J. Patterson
Pike County’s Eager Inn was the first stone inn built in Ohio in 1797. Located at the junction of Pike Lake Road and Morgan’s Fork Road, it housed guests until 1870. Prior to the Civil War, the inn was a stop for slaves traveling north on the Underground Railroad. It’s now one of eight properties on Pike County’s National Register of Historic Places.
The city of Jackson was originally named “Salt Lick Town” by settlers in 1795 because it contained the Scioto Salt Licks. Ohio passed legislation regulating salt mining at the licks in March 1803, just one month after Ohio became a state, crystalizing salt mining’s status as Ohio’s first industry.
The Flight of the Hawk Park, located off Route 33 in Lancaster, welcomes visitors entering the Sugar Grove area with life-sized metal sculptures of deer and wild turkeys, some of Ohio’s native wildlife. The highlight of the six-acre park is a 2,500-pound sculpture of a red-tailed hawk perched in its nest 42 feet above the ground. Sugar Grove artist Ric Leichliter designed all of the park’s sculptures.
Fairfield County is the site of a string of events being held through 2015 to commemorate 150 years since the end of the Civil War. More than 300,000 men from Ohio volunteered to serve in the Union army, the third-largest Union enrollment behind only New York and Pennsylvania. Nine soldiers from Fairfield County received the Congressional Medal of Honor for their contributions during the Civil War.
The Orchard House, built in the 1850s on 12 acres of land outside Granville, is not your typical bed and breakfast. In the 1950s it was the first licensed home to alcoholics in Ohio. Since 2010, the owners of the home have invited guests to enjoy the farm-like atmosphere. Several resident animals grace the property, including a slew of llamas and alpacas, a pot-bellied pig and two Nigerian dwarf goats.
The ghost of Dr. Joseph Lowry is rumored to haunt the Briggs Lawrence County Public Library in Ironton. The library was built on the grounds where the physician’s house previously stood. Lowry died in his sleep in 1933, and the local undertaker admitted to mistreating Lowry’s body out of revenge for an unpaid debt.
by Avery T. Jennings
A couple years ago, miles of railroad were overgrown with trees springing up in between the tracks—almost symbolizing the loss of its original purpose and foreshadowing the derailing of a major player in Monroe’s economy. Originally built by Pennsylvania Railroad to service Ormet—an aluminum smelting […]