Downtown restaurant opens its doors Wednesday

Published 10:51 pm Monday, October 13, 2008

Local residents will have their first chance to experience Andalusia’s newest fine dining establishment when the doors open Wednesday for CJ’s Grille.

CJ’s will hold a soft opening to a select group today to allow staff members to become more familiar with the menu and dishes, according to owner Casey Jones, and

“What we plan on doing is opening Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for lunch and our nights will start Saturday,” Jones said. “We want to get the staff acclimated to the menu. I do not want them to get overwhelmed in the beginning.”

Lunch will be served Mondays through Wednesdays from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Dinner will be served Wednesdays through Saturday from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m.

“We are reserving Monday and Tuesday nights for private party reservations,” Jones said. “We have already booked three parties so far.”

Jones said CJ’s menu will continue a generous variety of budget-friendly food items for both lunch and dinner.

“We will have a variety of starters available for both lunch and dinner,” he said. “At nighttime we will have a variety of steak, seafood and pasta dishes. During the day we will do five or six salads and eight or nine sandwiches. We have about five plate lunches. Probably our best seller at lunch will be the special, which will be a protein, starch, vegetable, cake, roll and drink for $6.49 plus tax. It is a great deal, especially with the cost of food now.”

Jones said the freezers and kitchen cabinets are well stocked for tomorrow’s opening.

“I feel we are going to be running smoothly,” he said. “We have one more truck to arrive [today] with our fresh produce. All of the food is basically here. I have all of the beverages in stock.

“My purveyors are working with me,” he added. “They will give me a truck five days a week if I need it. If we run out of anything, then I can get it the next day.”

According to Jones, the restaurant does not have a separate room designated for large groups or parties, but such groups will be no problem to accommodate.

“I have designed the restaurant so that a large party can occupy a section,” he said. “We can put tables to together. Most restaurants, especially larger chain restaurants, don’t have private dining rooms.”

Jones said patrons who frequented the building during its former life, as Murray’s Café, will not recognize the establishment now.

“We have completely redone the interior,” Jones said. “I think the lighting worked out very well and it creates a pleasant dining experience. I am very pleased with the way things turned out and I feel the customers will be equally as pleased.”