A new restaurant boasting a German-American menu opened for dinner hours in the historic Wineman Hotel building in mid-August, but the owner is hoping to expand to lunch hours as well within the next month.
The Wineman GrillHaus took over the 2,400-square-foot spot vacated by Eatz By Design this year, owner Jason Luke said.
“I kind of stumbled on to the spot by chance,” Luke said. “I was looking at the Naked Fish spot (before the sushi restaurant bought the space) but then the owner asked if I would be interested in the Eatz place.”
Luke, a Cal Poly graduate, said he was thrilled to have the opportunity to own a restaurant downtown, especially considering the general makeup of businesses along Higuera Street.
“Most of what you see downtown are big companies, with million-dollar portfolios,” he said. “I’m a local guy, not some big corporation. We’re just trying to create something special that is local and from San Luis Obispo and not imported in.”
Luke declined to disclose how much he invested in opening the restaurant, saying only that he was able to use some of the supplies left over from Eatz By Design to help cut costs.
So far, the public’s response to the German-inspired food has been good, Luke said, noting the schnitzel — a fried pork dish — is especially popular. The restaurant’s other dishes include bratwurst, burgers and other traditional German dishes.
The restaurant is open only for dinner from 5 to 11 p.m., but Luke said he hopes to expand to lunchtime hours as soon as Oct. 1. With the additional hours, Luke said he will also expand his 15-person staff to about 25 people.