OTTOVILLE — A new restaurant that specializes in gourmet burgers and beers opened in downtown Ottoville last week.
Kyle Bendele serves as owner and also has owned popular restaurant Millie’s Cafe since 2005. Millie’s will remain open two doors down. The new restaurant is called Canalside Burgers & Brew, 167 Northwest Canal St., Ottoville, and opened Dec. 18.
Bendele described the restaurant as family-friendly and said for adults, it’s a great place to pair a burger made with a special blend of brisket and chuck with a beer.
The most popular burger and Bendele’s favorite is the “Putnam County Burger” that has bourbon-glazed onion and beer cheese served on a pretzel bun. Burgers come cooked pink or no pink with either pretzel or brioche buns. A charbroiler is used to cook the flame-grilled burgers.
Burgers are served with fresh-cut canalside fries, cole slaw or a cup of chili. The potatoes for the fries are cut every day and are soaked in water and vinegar for a few hours, drained, fried and seasoned with Lowry’s seasoned salt.
The second-most popular burger is the “Cowboy Burger” with cheddar cheese, onion ring stuffed with pulled pork and Memphis sweet barbecue sauce on a brioche bun.
Bendele is a 2002 Ottoville High School graduate and a 2005 University of Northwestern Ohio graduate with a business management degree. He is married to Dani, and they have two children, Anna and Addison.
Bendele purchased the building where the new restaurant is located that previously housed Turtles Tavern and Dew Drop Inn.
“Owning restaurants is kind of in my blood. The main reason I wanted to buy the building was that Millie’s has been really busy, and I wanted to take the pressure off,” Bendele said.
The building has original hardwood floors, and the tin stamped ceiling was painted. There is a bar with bar stools and a seating area with tables and chairs. A brick decorative wall, new vintage lighting and a wall with built-in shelves to store wine provides an inviting feeling. There also are televisions to entertain restaurant-goers.
Bendele and his wife spent this past summer traveling to restaurants in New York, Toronto, Cincinnati and Columbus to get decor and menu ideas that they incorporated into their restaurant.
“Everyone is supportive of me owning two restaurants in town. In a small town, that is not that common to own two restaurants,” Bendele said.
Business hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, 4 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The Facebook page is Canalside Burgers & Brew.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.