By many accounts, the 65-plus-year-old Greenville Ave. Bar & Grill was somewhat of a sewer by the time it was clamped shut in late April, albeit one that leaked malt suds. Yet after just a few months, this watering-hole landmark is poised for a resurrection. Four bartenders from Primo's on McKinney, led by Greg Hillan, have taken over the lease on the Greenville space and are preparing to rip the guts out of it. Hillan says he and partners Terri Russo, Craig Wolf, and Wes Weaver plan to refocus the venue from live music and tippling to tippling and grill food.
For the past two and a half years, the Greenville Ave. Bar & Grill was owned by Susan and Michael Maher, former operators of the Lakewood Bar & Grill. Flying Burro owner Scott Cain, who manages the property on the Greenville Avenue strip that includes the Bar & Grill, isn't sure why the Mahers closed the doors, but he says it had been operating under duress for quite some time. "It struggled," he says. "It had a lot of nostalgic value, but nobody was going there." There's nothing new plumbing, wiring, and new sub floors can't fix. Hillan says he isn't sure if he and his Primo's cohorts will retain the name, but whatever they decide to call it, he plans to have it stitched back together and open by mid-November.
Roughly translated, Phil and Janet Cobb's Salve! means "welcome, good friend." But it seems as if something in the restaurant's kitchen must have worn out a welcome somewhere. How else to explain the departure of Salve! Executive Chef Sharon Hage from such a plumb post?
"It was time. It was time to go," says Hage, declining to elaborate. A Culinary Institute of America graduate, Hage has been with the restaurant since late last year when she left her job as executive chef at Neiman Marcus' Zodiac Room. What now? After taking a respite, Hage says she's going to float her name out there to see what it attracts, a move that doesn't rule out a skip from Dallas.
"Salve! will definitely be a tough act to follow," she says. "You don't find many independently owned, free-standing restaurants of Salve's caliber around." For now, Salve!'s kitchen will be headed by Cobb Companies Corporate Executive Chef Kevin Ascolese...It's been roughly three weeks since Fish Executive Chef George Greiser took a furlough from the downtown seafood restaurant to spend time with his family. Now he's in jail, locked up, and he still has to deal with the food. Greiser assumed the role of consulting chef at The Prison, the restored circa 1879 Collin County Jail near the downtown square in McKinney that's been converted into a restaurant.
"I'm not independently wealthy," says Greiser of his move. Greiser says he might be sticking around The Prison for 30, 60, or even 90 days, which sound suspiciously like terms for jail sentences. He still won't commit to where he will end up, once he gets out, that is. But he's still considering a return to Fish, owned by businessman Steven Upright. "Steven has left the door wide open for me," he says. In the meantime, Greiser says he's relishing the challenge of converting prison food into...well, Prison food.
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