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Food

Ex-UT star to open 2nd eatery

Perrysburg gastropub is latest venture for NFL’s Gradkowski

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    Gradkowski

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    Bruce Gradkowski, left, signs autographs.

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Former University of Toledo star quarterback Bruce Gradkowski is about to become a double-threat as an area restaurateur.

Fresh off the success of his Gradkowski’s restaurant in UT’s Gateway Project, the former Rocket signal-caller and current backup quarterback for the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers is about three weeks away from launching his second area restaurant, named Social, in the former Arnie’s at Levis, 25818 Dixie Hwy. in Perrysburg.

The new restaurant is now hiring employees and plans to open the second week of July. It will be a gastropub, a dining concept that refers to a bar or restaurant serving high-end beer and food, said Mike Graber, Mr. Gradkowski’s partner in both the new venture and Gradkowski’s restaurant that opened in January on Secor Road in West Toledo.

“We will serve comfort food items, but have a high-end flair on them,” Mr. Graber said. Every other month, the restaurant will introduce a completely new menu, he added.

The site is being remodeled and will have a “garage meets fine dining” look that includes 18-foot long wooden tables surrounded by regular tables with white linen and china. Social will feature 25 microbrew beers on draft, Mr. Graber added.

“It’s kind of an old meets new concept. That’s how we keep describing it,” he said.

Mr. Graber said with the quick success of Gradkowski’s, the two men wanted to open a second location in Perrysburg. “Originally the new place was going to be a Gradkowski’s, but the cost would have been too much. Then we considered Gradkowski’s Gastropub, but we didn’t want to have people confuse it with the original Gradkowski’s and think that it was the same thing you’d get in West Toledo,” he said.

“So we went with a completely different name because it’s a whole different concept. The only link is the owners and old family photos we plan to have on the walls,” he said.

Mr. Graber said he will oversee the operation of both restaurants. The two men, he added, plan to open a Gradkowski’s restaurant in Pittsburgh at a later date.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.

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