Blogs > Eating It Up Locally!

Who wants to cook? Let’s go out to eat. See where News-Herald staff members dined and where they go to unwind in our area. You might just find a new treasure in your own neighborhood.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dining Out: Kickstart Grill at Coach's Tavern in Willowick is a kick

When one of our friends suggested we make a visit to Kickstart Grille at Coach's Tavern in Willowick, it didn't take a lot of convincing for me to go. A new place with fresh bar food in a casual environment? I'm in.

So my wife and I and another couple visited on a recent Saturday, and it wasn't until we pulled into the parking lot that we realized Coach's Tavern is the former site of Buffalo Wild Wings. That, of course, is long gone, but none of us had been there since it left.

Actually, it didn't completely leave. The layout of the place is similar, with the kitchen distinctly separated from the bar, the way all BW3s seem to be set up. If you forced me to wager, I'd say that the formica-topped high tables and stools that populate the dining room are also holdovers.

Coach's is in a lot of ways the prototypical neighborhood bar – on the dim side, not too big, quite a few flat-screen TVs. But not-so-typical is the food part of the equation. Kickstart Grille arrived in January, and is not fully integrated – at least not yet – into the whole place. For example, we ordered and paid separately for food and drinks.

Lake County native Dennis Blakeslee is the one who has brought Kickstart into Coach's, which was without a kitchen for some time and is now open for lunch. He takes pride in using only fresh ingredients throughout the menu, which is dotted with the description “disgustingly delicious.” And a fair amount of bacon.

Read more at Correspondent Mark Koestner's review: Dining Out: Kickstart Grill at Coach's Tavern in Willowick is a kick.

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