Edison move adds full bar, more choices
HARWINTON — Thomas Edison is in the details at the newly reopened Edison Grill.
Traces of the famed inventor can be found in the custom light fixtures, on the walls that display some of his most famous quotes, in original antique photographs and on a sheet of stamps bearing his face.
Patrons might even find him at the bottom of an Edison margarita.
“What you’ve got here is a one-of-a-kind restaurant,” Jeremiah Czyz said Wednesday as he stood in the middle of his restaurant two hours before the lunch rush.
The Edison Grill used to be on the other side of East Side Electric in a smaller space, and Czyz worked for both businesses. But after a car crash and four surgeries, he was forced to focus on the business that didn’t require heavy lifting.
So he and his wife, Michelle — the dietitian behind many of the grill’s recipes — moved the business to the larger space. They also added a dinner service, a full bar and 14 other employees, including multiple bartenders. Their grand opening was May 21.
Czyz said he couldn’t have done it without Michelle, who does billing and training, in addition to coming up with recipes.
“Basically all the important stuff,” he said.
The restaurateur said he’s working out some of the kinks while transitioning from being in charge of eight employees to 22. He said he decided to stop serving breakfast during the week so he could focus on the quality of the food. “It’s a work in progress,” Czyz said.
He recommended people try the macaroni and cheese, which has been a big hit so far. He also said people rave about the burgers. To try more than one menu item, Czyz suggested getting a few things from the small plates menu.
The grill’s name was inspired in part by its proximity to East Side Electric. “You think of electricity, you think of a light bulb,” Czyz said.
Town residents have responded positively to Edison Grill’s move next door and its new look, he said. On Thursday evening, before the eatery opened, there was a line all the way down to their previous storefront, he noted.
Greg Mele, of East Side Electric and Czyz’s father-inlaw, had a hand in decorating the place.
Czyz said Mele enjoys hunting for vintage finds, and helped fill the restaurant with Edison-related collectibles.
“There’s a lot of love in this restaurant,” Czyz said.
Customers can spot an original Edison phonograph and vintage soda taps carefully placed in the room.
They also can try one of the grill’s 10 craft beers on tap, hand-selected wine or a specialty cocktail. Czyz said he took a bartending class so he could make informed decisions about his drink menu, and he personally picked out every liquor.
“I believe in the quality,” he said. “I don’t believe in selling cheap stuff.”