By Nancy Tannler
808 SE Morrison St.
Mon. -Thurs.: 11.30 am – 11 pm
Fri.: 11.30 am – 1 am
Sat.: 11 am – 1 am
Sun.: 11 am –11 pm
One great southeast icon that has been kept intact and is better than ever is the updated Grand Central Restaurant & Bowling Lounge. John Plew, the owner of Concept Entertainment, purchased Grand Central in 2005 and spent the next two years remodeling the insides turning it into the snazzy family restaurant, bowling alley, game room, event space and lounge that it is today.
The original building was built in 1929 and was a public market until the bowling alley took over most of the space in the late 1950s. Prior to Concept Entertainments acquisition there was a bowling alley and the requisite snack bar serving a couple of fast food items. Now the restaurant has a full menu that serves up standards Americans like to eat.
To begin with, there is a large array of appetizers. Sounding particularly delicious are the Pepper Bacon Potato Skins; Beer Battered Onion Rings; Ultimate Chicken Nachos; Loaded Tater Tots, Lettuce Wraps and more. Grand Central Restaurant strives to serve high quality salads, soups, burgers, pizza, sandwiches, a selection of dinner specials and desserts.
What burger lover wouldn’t want to try the Maple Bacon, Blue Cheese, or Cheddar Burger? For Mac and Cheese specials, the Pesto Mac with spinach and basil pesto, bacon, tomatoes, Parmesan, smoked Mozzarella, Fontina and Gorgonzola cheese sounds tantalizing to the tastebuds.
The Grilled Turkey Clubhouse, BLT[A] (for avocado), French Dip, Grilled Veggie sandwiches area a sampling of their ample sandwich menu. For dinner, IPA Beer Battered Fish n Chips with Alaskan cod or the Orange Chicken are enticing choices.
There is Happy Hour everyday and they offer most of their appetizers plus a few other specials for $3.95 – $5.95.
One of the new additions to Grand Central are the different configurations of meeting spaces and private party rooms. The mezzanine level accommodates up to 250 guests with a variety of room arrangement options. There are three other rooms that can seat from 20 – 50 guests and the bowling lounge that offers up two lanes of bowling and luxury seating around the lanes for a party.
They offer special catering menus and prices for events that can be as simple as a meeting for the community to full service meal at the reception to a wedding.
Grand Central has its own atmosphere, a combination of vintage bowling alley meets mid-century modern/contemporary restaurant chic. The central location and assorted drink menu make it a great place to meet for cocktails and dinner. It’s also a comfortable place to bring the family. The portions will fill up the hungriest kids and the games and bowling are a great source of entertainment.