SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP – Things are falling into place for a new restaurant that will be opening soon in Springfield Township.
“There’s a fair amount of excitement,” said Daniel Stripp.
Stripp was joined Friday afternoon by other staff members of Palatos.
The restaurant is housed in the former Elephant and Castle at 1923 Leesburg-Grove City Road, near the entrance to the Grove City Premium Outlets. Since that restaurant closed in December, crews have been updating the dining room, bar area and kitchen, and they have maintained the footprint of the building.
A grand opening date has yet to be determined, and passers-by have been stopping to check on the progress.
“We’re still turning people away,” said Stripp, who handles operations.
Palatos will serve “pizza, pasta, pints” and other items like wings, sandwiches and house-made pretzels.
There’s new carpet, a fresh coat of paint, a refurbished bar with new stools, and a group of employees who are ready and waiting to serve patrons.
Some of those employees used to work for Elephant and Castle, like Stephanie Stein, the kitchen manager, Stripp said.
She knows a lot about the building and has been a great help, along with local vendors.
“She put her band back together,” Stripp said of Stein’s crew of reliable employees.
General Manager Nick Kightlinger has worked for other restaurants owned by the group behind Palatos, which include Cannon’s Chophouse. He said it can be a challenge to run an eatery that was previously home to an established clientele.
He’s excited to get it up and running and to show area residents and visitors that the restaurant has a great selection and service to offer.
“It’s something different,” he said of the menu.
The dough and sauce recipes have been worked and reworked until they were just right, Stripp said.
Palatos still has to secure its liquor license, and they will serve a variety of local beers. Until then, Voodoo Brewery will serve their brews “pop-up” style from 4 to 9 p.m.
“They jumped at the chance to help us,” Stripp said.
Voodoo and other vendors have gone “above and beyond” to assist Palatos, said Megan DeMaison, marketing coordinator.
“Grove City’s true colors are shining,” she said.
The Palatos family hopes that those who enjoyed Elephant and Castle are willing to come give something new a try.
“It’s a fantastic location,” Kightlinger said.
There are 23 seats at the bar, and room for 171 guests inside and 20 outside.
DeMaison noted that there will be quotes hanging on the walls that pertain to the number “three,” like the Palatos catchphrase of “pizza, pasta and pints.”
Because of its connection to Cannon’s Chophouse, Palatos has solid buying power while maintaining a “mom and pop” feel, Stripp and DeMaison said.
Meals can be made to go, and online ordering will be offered. Reservations will be accepted, and those who have to wait for a table can go next door to the outlet mall, thanks to the MobileBytes app that will alert them, Stripp said.
Palatos also plans to update the attached hotel, which has a dozen rooms. They will be available for booking when the restaurant opens, and they’d like to eventually redesign each room so that they’re all different, DeMaison said.
Stripp and DeMaison thanked Eric Lindh, who operated Elephant and Castle and still owns the building; Springfield Township officials; and vendors including Chiappini Electric and Jack Grimm Plumbing.
People are also interested in Cannon’s Chophouse, which is being built in the Springfield Commons area, just up the street from Palatos.
That project is moving along well and is expected to open this summer, Stripp said.