EDWARDSBURG – The owners of a new local restaurant are excited to provide customers with a fresh and tasty dining experience.
Flat Rock Grill, 68973 M-62, Edwardsburg, opened for the first time Saturday night.
Co-owner Earl Williams greeted customers as they entered the restaurant, which is also co-owned by Williams business partner Andrew Mitchell. Williams named the restaurant after Flat Rock, a popular recreation area along the Arkansas River that he frequented while living in Arkansas.
The opening night menu included smashing burgers with fresh cut fries, sandwiches and appetizers as well as a selection of taps, cocktails and wines. The restaurant will offer pizzas, soups, salads and more in the future, but Williams said the restaurant is offering a limited menu for a short time to allow servers and cooks to acclimate. Flat Rock Grill will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and also offers outdoor seating in addition to its indoor space.
Williams, owner of the Gateway Plaza where the Flat Rock Grill resides, started the venture with Mitchell in February with the goal of creating a casual yet stylish dining destination in Edwardsburg.
“We want to have that classy feeling like you’re in a nicer restaurant but not paying better prices,” he said. “I want you to feel like you’re stepping into a Chris of Ruth, but paying Texas Roadhouse or Logan prices. That’s what I want to bring here so you don’t have to go all the way to Granger to get a high end feel.
The restaurant quickly filled and was well received by visitors, including Kathleen Schultz, who attended the grand opening with her friends Joanna Thompson and Alice Flassig.
“We’re excited to see the grand opening and be a part of it,” Schultz said. “It’s our city and we’ve been waiting for something new to happen.”
A resident of Edwardsburg for 17 years, Schultz believes Flat Rock Grill is giving the community a “destination” restaurant it has been missing.
“We’re already talking about it to our friends who live in Indiana,” she said. “I think it’s going to be fine. People were waiting; you have the people on Eagle Lake and there are a lot of people who come from out of town just to be in Michigan because we get a lot of tourists who have houses on the lake from Illinois. I think it will go well.
“We must be known for something more than just a bunch of pot shops,” Williams said. “It’s great that people can come here and get that from us, but we don’t have restaurants anymore, so to speak. … I think for the Friday night football team, the game is over, where are you going? Notre Dame football game, where you gon’ go, drive to Granger through some busy bars? Now you can come here and stay in the community.