Tallmadge -- A restaurant and bar called The Sound Garden that hopes to feature live, local music in an upscale casual atmosphere wants to open in Rocco Plaza on West Avenue.
The Tallmadge Planning and Zoning Commission met Sept. 5 and scheduled a public hearing on a request for a conditional zoning certificate so the restaurant that intends to serve alcohol can open and operate there. The property is zoned C-4, which allows restaurants that don't serve alcohol.
The public hearing is set for 7:01 p.m. Oct. 3 at City Hall.
"I'm very pleased and excited and looking forward to doing business in the city of Tallmadge," said Rob Morrison, who would own and operate the restaurant with his wife, Andrea.
If Council approves the conditional zoning permit request, the Morrisons would need to obtain a state liquor license to serve alcohol. The Sound Garden hopes to open in November or December of this year.
A second family adventure
The Morrisons, both 1985 graduates of Ellet High School who now live in Springfield Township, have been friends since elementary school.
They began their endeavor into the restaurant and entertainment industry when they opened The Acoustix Cafe in Ellet in October 2011. In March of the next year, the couple left the business, and the partner who retained it kept it running for about six months before selling it to someone who turned it into a bar called The Bourbon Room. Five months later, the bar closed, according to Rob Morrison.
Since its closing, the pair have been operating a small deli inside the Southside Flea Market in Coventry Township that Morrison's mother owns. If The Sound Garden gets up and running in Rocco Plaza, the husband and wife will focus their full attention on the new restaurant.
"We're bringing all types of music to the area: rockabilly, folk, blues, bluegrass, jazz, classic, classical," Morrison said.
What interested the couple in opening their first restaurant was food, and the couple hopes to reflect it once again in the menu that he describes as "an eclectic array of sandwiches to dinners" that focuses on fresh, local ingredients. Specialty items include a 1/3 pound seasoned burger with mixed-in bacon pieces on a pretzel bun, topped with lettuce, tomato, deep fried banana peppers and chipotle mayonnaise.
"It is a bacon burger that you will eat it once, and you will come back for another one," Morrison said. "This burger is the bomb. It took me five months to develop this burger."
Assorted dinner specials will be offered on Fridays and Saturdays as well.
"We're very excited about doing this project in Tallmadge. We're going to bring a flair to the restaurant industry with some added entertainment," he said.
One Sunday per month, the venue would transform into a place for high school and college students to showcase their artwork for free.
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