Wearhouse Grille Combines Food, Friendship and Fun
Local restaurant and pub offers weekly specials and entertainment.
The Wearhouse Grille got off to a somewhat inauspicious start shortly after opening its doors on Aug. 8, 2000.
“Three days later, the flood of 2000 came,” Regina Makowski, owner of the Wearhouse Grille, recalled. “We had people in here for hours on end, with their animals in cages. We were an oasis. We didn’t have any water in here. It was crazy.”
Makowski referred to massive flooding that occurred from Aug. 11-14, 2000, when some 15 inches of rain fell, flooding homes, and washing away vehicles and boats.
“We made a lot of new friends that weekend,” Makowski said.
Those friends have stayed for 12 years now and have been part of Makowski’s life through good times and bad, including the illness and death of her significant other and partner in the restaurant, Tom Wear, who died in 2008.
“Tom was a quiet man, but he would have been so honored to see how many people came to his services,” Makowski said.
She has rewarded those long-time friendships with a wealth of good food and good times at the Wearhouse, also including entertainment and sports viewing on the 90-inch television in the pub area, which was an add-on to the original building in 2003.
The Grille offers several weekly specials, including steak and steamers for $15.99 on Monday, Mexican night on Tuesdays with all-you-can-eat tacos and pitchers of margaritas, dinner for two with a bottle of wine for $39 on Wednesday and a prime rib special and $3.50 glasses of house wines on Thursday.
The weekends bring local entertainment to the Wearhouse, both bands and solo acts. Fall Sundays mean football on the 90-inch television.
“I try to do different things, and give back to the community,” Makowski said. “We’ve done a benefit for Eleventh Hour Rescue (an animal rescue group), and we all just did a breast cancer walk in honor of our bar manager, Nancy Stansky, who is a breast cancer survivor."
“That’s one of the things that stands out to me,” said Mark McNabb, a regular at the Wearhouse for more than seven years by his count. “In the past they've sponsored or supported Cancer Walks, the 11th Hour Rescue for Dogs, Memorial Swim meets to raise money for Jefferson Township animal shelter and wine tasting events for a local family in need.”
However, McNabb said, the food doesn’t hurt either.
“I do enjoy Mexican food and one of my favorites is their burritos and nachos,” he said. “The food is presented nicely, it's filled with flavor and when I'm done eating, I'm stuffed. Plus, their prices are all reasonable and the menu is varied from seafood to steaks, satisfying the appetites for everyone I bring there. Each day they offer a different special.”
While Heather Marsh also enjoys the food, noting that “the chef provides excellent food whether you order off the bar or restaurant menu,” for her, it’s the ambience that counts.
“I love the friendly, relaxed atmosphere at the Wearhouse. Regina and the entire staff make you feel welcome,” Marsh said.
Another patron, Linda Stafford, agreed.
“I just love the people there,” Stafford said. “If I’m going to go out for a drink, I can go anywhere and get basically the same drink. But I won’t find the friends and atmosphere that I get at the Wearhouse.”
Makowski spoke just as highly of her customers.
“My customers are my favorite part of this place,” she said. “I love hearing their stories, telling my stories and joking around. I’ve been very lucky to have them.”