Business

New owners aim to ‘play into the history’ of old Villa Creek restaurant in Paso

On Bar will take over the building previously occupied by Villa Creek on Pine Street in downtown Paso Robles, California.
On Bar will take over the building previously occupied by Villa Creek on Pine Street in downtown Paso Robles, California.

Steve and Angela Nino, owners of Nino’s Grill in Templeton, plan to open a new restaurant on Pine Street in Paso Robles next month.

General manager Melissa Mattson said On Bar will likely open its doors in mid-February — pending the approval of its liquor license — and will be located at 1144 Pine St., where the Villa Creek restaurant operated for nearly two decades.

Mattson said the Nino’s are leasing the building from former owners Cris and JoAnn Cherry, who shifted their focus exclusively to Villa Creek Cellars in July 2017.

Mattson added that, aside from a few interior touch-ups, On Bar will largely maintain the same feel customers embraced at the Villa Creek restaurant over the course of 19 years.

“We kind of want to play into the history of the building and kind of an ode to everything behind it,” Mattson said. “It’s been a long-standing place in the area.”

Mattson said they have not projected sales or profits for the first year, saying there are “so many start-up costs that making any sort of profit in the restaurant in the first year is kind of rare.”

The restaurant will employ about 30 to 40 people, Mattson said, though they have not begun the hiring process.

Executive chef Ryan Trimble created the menu, which Mattson said will be somewhat similar to what is currently offered at Nino’s Grill and will specialize in high quality meats.

“We’re kind of trying to fill a gap for what currently exists,” Mattson said. “Paso has a lot of fine dining and it has a lot of quick lunches, and we’re kind of trying to be a compromise between the two.”

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