October 24, 2014

Mostly clear

Midway Diner to open soon in Elyria

The former TGIF’s restaurant across from Midway Mall is undergoing renovation and will re-open as the Midway Diner, now under renovation. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

The former TGIF’s restaurant across from Midway Mall is undergoing renovation and will re-open as the Midway Diner, now under renovation. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — A diner is opening at the former T.G.I. Friday’s at 2040 Midway Blvd., near the Midway Mall.

The Midway Diner is expected to open in two or three weeks, according to owner Sam Darowich. Darowich said he is hiring about 40 people, including about 20 full-time jobs.

Darowich said his family has been in the restaurant business since about 1993 and owns diners in Grand River and Mentor in Lake County.

T.G.I. Friday’s closed in 2008, and Darowich acknowledged the restaurant business is competitive.

However, Darowich said he believes the diner — which will be open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week — will be profitable.

Darowich said he hopes to capitalize on family-style, homemade food made fresh daily.

“I think it will be good in this area,” he said.

Mark Bressler, Midway Mall general manager, said he was encouraged about the opening.

“We wish Sam all the best in the world,” Bressler said. “It’s always good to see new economic activity in Elyria.”

Anyone interested in applying for a job is asked to stop by the diner during business hours to fill out an application.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.

  • Joe Smith

    With the mall dying and since the company has more that 50 employees and will be forced to offer healthcare to the full timers they will not be enough profit to last more than a year or two. Could be wrong but time will tell.
    I will give them a try.

    • http://comradealan.com/ Alan Pugh

      40 employees is less than 50 employees.

      • Joe Smith

        AHHHHH, I read it that it was 40 part time and 20 full, my mistake, thanks.

        It still won’t make it I bet

  • stop ur whining

    DOA. Sucks to say but i was just out at trashway mall last week. It is decimated. Too many empty store fronts. Putting a business out there is suicide. I will give it a try but i but the over under on it closing at six months.

  • Mary Bryan

    The two previous comments is exactly what is wrong with this community – NEGATIVITY!!! Instead of writing this business’s demise on the wall – give them your support. That is why business is decimated at the mall. Everyone wants to shop in Westlake or Strongsville – shop in your community. Money is tight for a lot of residents, yet amazingly enough, they will go to other cities to shop. I myself will frequent this establishment, I prefer a family owned business over a franchise any day.

    • stop ur whining

      I will always choose family owned vs a chain. but negativity isn’t the problem. The crime and lack of residents is why people do not go out there.

      Face it, Elyria is at rock bottom or darn near. the schools are terrible, the crime rate only increases which leads to a decline in the population, especially the population that spends money and drives an economy. Westlake and Strongsville have exploded because they offer safe streets and better schools. Avon, Bay, Westlake, River, Strongsville, Ridgeville. all these cities are flourishing and drawing the positive people in elyria out. Elyria’s core population is baby boomers and poor garbage. as the faithful die off, there is no new blood, except the kind you do not want in the first place.

      You want a better city…raise taxes to force some out. Use the extra revenue to hire more cops to take out the rest of the trash. Then sink every last penny into schools. Then, and only then are you going to attract new residents. Until then you can open 100 new restaurants and other businesses to help your city and they will all fail bc there is a lack of customers.

    • Joe Smith

      So Mary, read the below, now what?

  • Lord Anoobis

    Amen, Mary! I wholeheartedly agree that the negative attitude is prevalent in Elyria. In fact, you can run into quite often throughout Northeast Ohio. However, “stop ur whining” does have a point about Midway Mall. There have been a number of business over the past few years that have left leaving empty space behind. The area may be somewhat economically depressed, but that does not mean we have to behave that way emotionally. Let’s enjoy the fact that a new restaurant is opening and thank Mr. Darowich for taking a chance. It’s very easy for us to criticize the situation and or make fun of it (i.e. the mall or Elyria in general). Mr. Darowich is the one that’s actually doing something about it.

    • Mary Bryan

      Thanks for acknowledging the same issue I see. I do understand the issue of the mall area and the city for that matter. Yes this city like other cities has fallen on hard times – but what makes us strong is that we continue to push forward. There will always be naysayers but at least give the family a chance to show what they do. With owning two other restaurants, at least we know they have the experience. I’m sure they did the research and are aware of the decline in business as a whole for the mall area. Yet, a few other restaurants seem to be doing fine and have stood the test of time. I wish for them all the best of luck.

      • stop ur whining

        can be the best restaurant owner in the world and if you lack customers you are still going to close. My negativity is not based on any biased, in fact i am all in favor of Elyria turning it around. the problem is the backwards thinking. new businesses are not the answer, new residents are. Elyria is a complete turn off to new families bc of bad schools and crime. fix that and you get residents, once you have residents you can have more businesses like this open and be sustainable.

        Midaway mall has a church and a taxidermy store in it…are you kidding me? what kind of a mall is that?

  • Joe Sandor

    I do hope the eatery well, but am skeptical. Midway Mall doesn’t have the traffic to bring enough patrons to the area, as other eateries have found. Let’s face it, Midway is dead, but refuses to acknowledge the obvious. Even the kids don’t like to hang out there any longer. The management companies simply refuse to do the tings necessary to drive traffic into Midway. 1) Decent rents to tenants instead of the exceptionally high prices and overly excessive sales percentages, 2) Mall-wide sale coordination, 3) In-Mall activities & events to attract the 19-35 crowd, 4) Adequate VISIBLE security to give a sense of safety to customers. Consultants have tried to tel the past and current owners, but to no avail. One can only guess how long Midway will be operational or when it becomes a stone monolith between Elyria and Lorain. (Maybe we need to have a betting pool on the mall closing date ?!?!?)

  • levtrotsky

    Why do I get the impression to loudest of these commenters judge a restaurant by three criteria :
    -Free food
    -Cheap food
    -All-you-can-eat (& doggy bag)

  • Am

    I am thrilled that they are putting a Family Restaurant in the Midway Mall…I am sure that it will be a success and the prices should be geared toward our community. Homemade food and a friendly atmosphere…yum!!! Can’t wait!

  • Melissa

    Went to this restaurant on Saturday the 15th of February…will NEVER return again. The hostess indicated to us that they have been open for 5 to 6 weeks now, and the waitress indicated to us that they are doing a “soft” opening. Honey…you don’t have a soft opening for 5 or 6 weeks long.
    We ordered our food…he got a Ribeye with baked potato and (as the waitress said) California Melody (which is really California Medley) vegetables…I ordered the Meatloaf and mashed potato. He wanted a piece of garlic toast with his meal, and I chose the dinner roll. Our dinners came with soup and salad bar. We ate soup, which was OK…but nothing to write home about…and then we had salad…which was just iceberg lettuce, that for some reason was floating in a bath of cold water, so you had to shake off the excess water before putting it in the salad bowl. Our meals came, and his steak had was about 4 1/2 inches around, with at least a 2 inch piece of fat in the center (he was told by our waitress that that’s how a Ribeye steak is) He complained about it, because his meal was $11.99. They in turn brought him out a T-Bone steak…which was $14.99 (but they took 20% off because of the way the Ribeye was) The T-Bone was no thicker than a piece of Liver. My meal was cold, and dry (but advertised as if my grandmother was in the kitchen) When the waitress came back to check on us, we asked for our bread…she said she would get it right away (It never came out) .
    We then heard another waitress tell another table that she went to ask the managers what they had to offer for dessert, but they were in the back arguing with each other (This is NOT something you share with the customers…that’s a private matter.
    When it was time for our check to come, she said they removed the Ribeye, and took 20% off the T-bone (which in my opinion should never have been charged for in the first place)
    I’ve been working off and on in restaurants, and I would say, that if you have been open for 5 or 6 weeks…then you darn well better know what you are doing by now.

    • Pete

      I totally agree. My wife and I went for breakfast the other day and didn’t come away impressed at all. The coffee was terrible and the rest of the meal was barely average. I had pancakes that were bland. My wife had eggs and sausage that was good. But of course how can you screw that up?

      • Joe Smith

        Gee you two better watch it, Lord Anoobis and Mary Bryan will call you negative.

        • Mary Bryan

          Joe, sad to say, I’ve heard nothing but complaints of the quality of food and the prices. I have not been there myself, so I can’t speak firsthand. Wonder if the owners have received feedback and what they think.

          • Joe Smith

            I hope it is just start up pains for them as I don’t like seeing anybody fail but it is not a good start

  • Vision

    Worst restaurant, in Elyria, at the moment. Makes the Golden Corral look like a five *star* restaurant. I’m not kidding. Extremely disappointed. Very poor hygiene habits are practiced, in their kitchen area…no one even wears gloves…like ever. Would you like your mashed potatoes with a side of Johnny’s hand sweat mixed in or would you rather have some soup with a Jenni’s fingernail residue disolved in ? They are both to die for. How about some shredded cheese where only a god would know who has had their hands in it? Still hungry ? How about some chocolate chip pancakes that are kept unwrapped, in the same refrigerator as the unwrapped raw fish ? GRRR-oss. I only was their for 3 hours and that’s only some of the filthiness I witnessed. I can tell I was over qualified to work their, but hey, I needed money, and I was going to keep my observations to myself and only warn my closet friends about the place. But after speaking with several former employee’s I’ve decided to let the cat out of the bag. Examples of critical health code violations observered while I was there : foods not held at proper temperatures, foods stored in a manner that could lead to contamination, inadequate handwashing practices or facilities, foods not properly dated, bare hand contact with ready to eat foods, and the inability of the person in charge to demonstrate knowledge of food safety procedures. Some non-critical violations I witnessed : Areas in the facility that need maintenance – floors, walls etc., equipment in need of maintenance, missing or broken thermometers in refrigeration or hot hold units, lack of hair restraints.

  • Vision

    FOOD SERVICE COMPLAINTS – 440-284-1560 & http://elyriahealth.com/about/