EATON — A longtime fixture on Barron Street in Eaton, The Stable will once again be opening soon, but this time under new management and with a new direction in mind.
Located at 507 N. Barron St., co-owners Zach Shafer, Ernest Hatmaker, Patrick Caylor and Gina Shaw are looking to turn The Stable into a nighttime destination with an emphasis on food service.
“The whole group that’s all invested in this, we’ve known each other for a long, long time,” Shafer said. “I currently own The Lampost up in New Paris so you know, we’re a full-service restaurant and bar up there. They also own Papa John’s here in Eaton, so the food industry is no secret to us and we’re very familiar with it.”
Shafer said he and the owners knew that Eaton was in need of a destination that people could go to, and this led to them purchasing The Stable this past March.
“On your Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights, we’re going to have live bands, DJs, karaoke, we’ll probably be running a pool league in here,” Shafer said. “But also, Eaton is in need of a mom and pop place with just good food, a good environment, family-friendly during the day, you know, maybe 21-and-up or something in the evening.”
While The Stable has never changed its branding with the iconic logo on the front over the years, it has changed owners, and not all of them have been able to keep the location open.
Shafer and the other co-owners of the new and improved restaurant are looking to avoid the pitfalls previous owners have fallen into, and he believes the new kitchen will help to separate them.
“Well, the biggest thing I can tell you from being a 28-year-old is that when I go out I like to eat. When you go out drinking, it’s really hard to drink all night unless you got something to snack on,” Shafer said. “So I think what was a crutch from previous owners that sets us apart is they just had a pizza oven, where you could [instead] order food from Wendy’s or Papa John’s. So we actually are bringing the aspect of food into the bar. So I think that’s what’s really separating us.”
The Stable was foreclosed on previously, and left with issues which needed to be fixed, but the staff has worked hard to shape the location into their vision for The Stable.
“The big thing that we’ve been facing is we’ve patched some drywall holes, cleaned up the bathrooms, new fixtures and stuff in there. We’re getting all new furniture, all new bar equipment, all new coolers, we just put a brand new walk-in on the outside of the building,” Shafer said. “Then the big thing is building out that — it’ll be a state of the art kitchen. We’re gonna have some really nice equipment in there.”
While marketing for The Stable will highlight the burger aspect of the menu, there will still be a larger selection throughout their menu of 15-to-20 items including a filet, ribeye and steak options for dinner meals.
“We’re really looking to bring as much fresh food, locally sourced food, as possible into the kitchen. I think that’s a big thing. Myself and the other owners, we all agree that you have to support local,” Shafer said. “Small communities, small business, that’s what sponsors your kids’ baseball team, soccer teams and all that. So we’re trying to give back to the community, source things locally and we’re looking for the community’s amazing support.”
The Stable will feature online and text-in ordering to help limit wait times for food, and Shafer said this will allow people on their lunch breaks to still enjoy the food.
“We’re really going to push hard the lunchtime crowd. We have an amazing industrial community here in Eaton and you know, you got McDonald’s, you got Burger King, you got Wendy’s, but to get true, homemade, fresh food is hard to come by here in this city,” Shafer said. “We do have some other great eateries like Wings Etc. and The Mule, but we just feel like we can do things maybe a little bit better and just bring a nice new edge to Eaton.”
As for the alcohol selection, the staff will be looking locally to provide options for guests.
“We’re gonna have a wide bottle selection and then we’re also going to have locally sourced wine,” Shafer said. “So I think that’s what’s really separating us apart is the kitchen, bringing in that burger bar aspect, and that’s something that – you can get chicken wings at every place. Yeah, we’re gonna have chicken wings, but our burger selection and stuff is going to be phenomenal and blow people out of the water.”
There will also be entertainment ranging from live music to stand-up comedians, pool tables and arcade games to draw in people of all ages.
“If you know a couple of little old ladies want to meet for lunch, they can come up here and have a good burger and then if you want to, come out for a bachelorette party,” Shafer said. “It’s a safe, local, close place to be able to do that, to kind of appease everybody.”
Initially slated to open this spring, construction was halted in April and May due to COVID-19.
Shafer said they are now hoping to open by early fall and are planning on having the building ready to inspect within the next six weeks.
Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @BradenMoles