By Caitlin Koeing | Soap Box Media
Across Cincinnati, 2015 was the year of the food truck, and it looks 2016 will be the year many of those food truck owners open brick-and-mortar restaurants. Randy Reichelderfer and sister-in-law Betsy Eicher, owners of Urban Grill, and Scott Nelowet, owner of Florida-based food truck French Fry Heaven, are joining the local entrepreneurs opening physical locations in the next few months.
6623 Main St., Newtown
Reichelderfer and Eicher recently purchased a refurbished barn that sits on two acres, which they plan to turn into a restaurant. The yet-to-be-named restaurant will feature the same dishes as those served on their food truck.
The pair started Urban Grill in 2013 but have a limited amount of space on the truck for the ingredients for their 32 sandwiches. The physical location will feature their entire menu, including items like mac-and-cheese-topped sandwiches, half-pound steakburgers, meatballs, grilled goetta and pork.
Plans include adding a two-story addition to the existing barn, with a lower dining area hosting a coffee bar and dessert bar featuring soft serve and shaved ice and an upstairs dining area. There will also be an outdoor covered patio with seating for 50.
They’re also planning to have a volleyball court, cornhole and horseshoes on-site.
Reichelderfer and Eicher say they plan to continue operating the Urban Grill food truck.
French Fry Heaven
206 Calhoun St., Uptown
Scott Nelowet started French Fry Heaven in 2011 as a snack brand in Jacksonville, Fla. He now has two other locations there, with plans to open his first Cincinnati location — to become the chain’s flagship store — on April 7.
After a trip to Europe, Nelowet thought Belgian-style French fries were the perfect vessel for a variety of toppings. They’re fried twice, so they’re crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
French Fry Heaven’s menu includes loaded fries with toppings like bacon cheeseburger, chicken and waffles, chicken fried steak, chicken cordon bleu and taco. There’s also a build-your-own option where you pick your type of fries (Belgian-style, skinny, potato chips, sweet potato chips or baked potato); salts and seasonings (black truffle salt, bonfire salt, pink Himalayan salt, ghost pepper salt, Cajun, dill, Arizona or cinnamon and sugar); and dip (melted cheese, ranch, barbecue, wing, remoulade or caramel). Signature toppings include baked tater, Cajun and remoulade, chili cheese, garlic parmesan, cheeseburger and funnel cake.
French Fry Heaven doesn’t currently operate locally as a food truck, but Nelowet plans to launch one a few weeks before opening his brick-and-mortar store in order to build awareness of his brand.