Brown Derby to Open Diamond Centre Location
Owner won't say when, but Brown Derby will soon open in former site of Damon's Grill & Sports Bar
Residents and visitors should expect a taste of nostalgia when a new restaurant opens in Mentor.
Restaurateur Parris Girves twice declined to reveal an opening date, but said he will soon open a Brown Derby location on Diamond Centre Drive. The restaurant will be housed at the former site of Damon’s Grill & Sports Bar, which closed last fall.
Girves’ father, Gus, birthed the Brown Derby concept in 1941. Since then, the family chain branded many locations as Brown Derby Roadhouse. However, the Mentor eatery will open as a Girves Brown Derby, signaling a return to the white-tablecloth, modestly priced dining experience that popularized the restaurant throughout Northeast Ohio.
“It’s somewhat nostalgic, in the sense that here’s something very familiar that they’re bringing back,” Mentor Economic Development Director Ronald M. Traub said. “Plus, they’re utilizing a restaurant space that just recently turned over.”
Girves said the former Damon’s has been gutted and its interior is under construction to fit his Hudson-based chain’s theme.
“It was just a great opportunity and a good location,” Girves said of the location. “We’re always looking for good opportunities.”
Despite seven decades in business, Brown Derby never opened a restaurant in Mentor. The closest one, a Willoughby location near the Mentor border, closed nearly four years ago following a fire.
Traub said the city welcomes Brown Derby’s arrival following several closures, including Seeker’s Coffee House and a Donato’s location.
“People certainly have embraced eating out,” he said. “While there certainly was a decline in going out during the depths of the recession, I think the restaurateurs are looking for a recovery, and that’s why we’re seeing restaurants such as the Brown Derby coming to Mentor.
“We never have enough places to eat in Mentor.”