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Published: 10/23/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

Maumee jazz cafe revamps its menu for Degage Express

Expanded lunch offerings aim to enhance dining experience

BY KRIS TURNER
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
A new sign greets customers in Degage Express- Soups, Sandwiches & Such on October 18, 2012. The restaurant is changing its business model so that it can hopefully generate more money. A new sign greets customers in Degage Express- Soups, Sandwiches & Such on October 18, 2012. The restaurant is changing its business model so that it can hopefully generate more money.
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Joe Jacobsen hasn’t been able to find a good corned beef sandwich in Toledo.

Try as he might, the executive chef of Degage Jazz Cafe, never is satisfied with the offerings around the area. Nothing really hits the spot — that’s why Mr. Jacobsen literally is taking matters into his own hands.

Slow-cooked corned beef sandwiches will be a part of the revamped lunch menu at Maumee’s Degage. The owners are replacing their Red Wells restaurant with Degage Express, a farm-to-table food experience that the restaurant’s owner hopes will draw customers.

Most of the restaurant’s ingredients will be brought in from local farms and bakeries or other Ohio-based businesses. Degage’s soft opening for its express menu is Wednesday, and a grand opening will be held at a later date.

“What we’re going to do is kind of extend the Degage,” said Kathie Wells Foreman, the eatery’s owner.

Degage will continue to offer staples like roast beef — the changes are meant to enhance the diner’s experience, Ms. Foreman said.

“What we’ve found is that during the day, a lot of people were hoping they could get some of the things on [the dinner] menu,” she said.

The prices won’t jump as the restaurant overhauls its lunch menu. Ms. Foreman said part of the appeal of Red Wells’ menu is its affordability.

“Our prices have been competitive and we wanted to expand the menu,” she said.

Degage Express will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Degage Jazz Cafe and fine dining opens at 5 p.m. and is open Tuesday through Saturday.

Business has been tough because of the economy and people aren’t eating out as much, Ms. Foreman said. When people do eat out, they’re looking for something unique, she added.

Degage hopes to continue attracting a steady stream of senior citizens and would like to reach out to families with children.

The restaurant is housed in the Commercial Building at 301 River Rd., which was built in 1836 and is the oldest commercial structure in Lucas County. Although it has seen a number of restaurants open and close — Degage has been open since 2008 — Mr. Jacobsen thinks Degage is incorporating the right ingredients for success.

“Everything will be made to order as far as the sandwiches go,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot lighter and a lot fresher.”

Contact Kris Turner at: kturner@theblade.com or 419-724-6103.



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