ASHLAND -- South Street Grille, owned by Ashland natives Sean and Carly Little, is under construction in the 100-year-old building at 121 South Street (next to Substance Church) and is looking to open in late fall.
Ever since Sean was in junior high school, he had his mind set on opening up his own restaurant. Although once he and Carly got married and had kids, any plans for opening a restaurant had to be put on the backburner.
As their kids grew, the passion never dwindled. Then in mid-2019, the dream that began manifesting since junior high was finally realized.
Both Sean and Carly wanted to stay in Ashland with the restaurant, in part because of the sentimentality of growing up in the area but also the pride that comes with it.
“I think it’s a good mix of pride and doing what we can for our town," Sean said. "I think we can help fill in some gaps within the Ashland community.”
Additionally, the energy of the downtown area was something that the couple wanted to take advantage of.
“Downtown is a huge draw,” Carly said. “I love the progression of everything happening down here and to be a part of that feels great.”
After starting demolition work in January, things slowed down a bit because of the virus, but Sean reassured that there have been no big setbacks thus far.
Due to the structural design of the building, the restaurant will occupy the main level floor as well as a lower level and an outdoor patio. The main level will have no TVs and will be more of a soft couch, music dining room feel while the lower level will have a few TVs and a bar.
“It’s almost two different atmospheres,” Sean said. “It’s the same menu and you can do the same things. You can hang out on the main level for an hour and a half or hang out all day down there if you want to.”
As for the restaurant’s menu, Sean describes it as “elevated casual” and hopes there will be something for everyone.
“We want everyone to be excited to come here whether you’re 9 or 90, kids or no kids. We want the atmosphere and the menu to appeal to everyone,” Carly said.
While the restaurant seemed like a long time coming for Sean and Carly, the public has only known about it for a little over six weeks. There has been nothing but positivity coming from social media.
Now all that’s left is anxiously awaiting the restaurant's completion.
“We’re not even open and we’ve had so much positive feedback and support from the community and that really means a lot,” Carly said. “We wanna give to the community and the fact that they’re eager to let us do that is something I love.”
While opening day may still be a few months away, both Sean and Carly are anticipating the arrival of customers and being able to have “something that (their) kids can be proud of.”
“We can’t wait to see you,” Sean said. “This has been a long time coming, but we’re ready.”
For more information regarding their official opening, be sure to follow the restaurant's Facebook page for any updates.