Steakhouse to open in downtown Seymour


A lifelong dream has finally been realized for a local restaurant owner.

Seymour resident Josh Reed said the opening of his new steakhouse would have made his father, Mike Reed, very happy.

Reed’s dad passed away in 2018.

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“We used to go to all of the Oktoberfests and see all of the people lined up for steak tips and pork chops,” he said. “We’d try to figure out what we could put together.”

That was the inspiration behind Reed’s Place: Steak and Chop Shop, 224 S. Chestnut St., Seymour, which is having its grand opening from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Reed’s mother, Karen Reed, said a restaurant was a dream of her late husband, and he would have been very proud of Josh’s new steakhouse.

“My dad wasn’t in the restaurant business, though,” Reed said. “He owned a construction company for over 30 years and was a carpenter.”

Reed and his fiancée, Jenny Ogle, saw an opportunity when they learned a building was for sale downtown.

Most of Reed’s friends own restaurants, are general managers of restaurants or are chefs, he said.

The head chef of Reed’s Place, Steven Bondowski, has been best friends with Reed for 25 years.

“I was born in Seymour, but I’ve moved pretty much every six to nine months my whole life,” Bondowski said. “I’ve lived in Louisville, California and was in Colorado for over a year and did some work in Florida earlier this year and just do a lot of traveling.”

Technically, Bondowski lives in Clearspring, but he said he has been in and out of Seymour since March.

“What brought me back here was Josh said he had a killer idea and that this town had never seen a good steakhouse,” he said. “So with my experience and his knowledge, we wanted to turn things over, start a new business and give people something to talk about and actually enjoy.”

Reed said he has been to Ruth’s Chris Steak House and St. Elmo Steak House and has eaten at some of the best steak restaurants.

“I’m pretty picky about a steak, and none of them touches ours,” Reed said. “I make my own in-house marinade and pork chop marinade, and everybody just fell in love with it.”

He said there is a lake out by his house where they have cooked all kinds of food for a lot of people at Fourth of July celebrations, and everyone tells him he is the man over the grill.

“Now, I’ve got a chef doing it and will be there right on the side,” Reed said. “I’ve been at Valeo for 16 years, and I’m hoping to work there until I retire. So after I get off work every day, I’ll be coming over here until 9 p.m. to the restaurant to give them a hand.”

Reed has eight employees for his eatery, including his mother, sister, April Reed, and fiancée.

Karen said she will be a waitress and help with pretty much everything, including making coleslaw, at her son’s steakhouse.

“I couldn’t believe it has come together the way it has, and everybody has been calling me,” Reed said. “The mayor wanted to come over and take a look at the restaurant, and Shawn Malone from Brooklyn Pizza was here last night.”

Reed said his sister-in-law is the general manager of Rails Craft Brew and Eatery in the downtown and has been helping him, so everybody has been pulling together and giving him ideas.

“The toughest part of getting the restaurant ready to open has been restoring the entire building,” Reed said. “It took over 40 days to redo the floors since there was about three layers of laminate and 10 layers of paint.”

He is now just waiting on the front door glass and the awning for his restaurant to be complete.

“My mom and fiancée did all the painting and reupholstering here,” he said. “There are hooks for coats on the side of the booths and hooks under the tables for purses, too.”

Bondowski said it has definitely been a process, as the floors and the front door are the originals from the 1900s.

“Now, there’s new electric, plumbing and septic, and the HVAC has been completely restored, plus a new roof,” Bondowski said. “Also, there was the refinishing of the booths, reupholstering and repurposing and new kitchen equipment, appliances and a smoker.”

As for the restaurant’s menu, Reed said they’re trying to keep it simple and put out the same quality steaks every time.

“All of our steaks are Grade A and will be fresh and right from the farm,” he said. “We’ll be serving ribeye hoagies and steak tip hoagies and then our steak dinners, including ribeyes, tomahawk T-bones, sirloins and more.”

Reed’s Place also will be serving up German potato salad since his fiancée is German. Texas toast and loaded baked potatoes come with all of the steak dinners, and there will be house salads, too.

“A lot of our menu items will be out-the-door things like steak tips, mushrooms and mashed potatoes,” Reed said. “Our boneless pork chop sandwiches will come with German potato salad and chips or coleslaw.”

The kids’ 10-and-under menu is limited but will include chicken strips, Texas toast grilled cheese and fries.

Hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

“Downtown is really growing, and there is plenty of parking around my building with a parking lot right across the street,” Reed said.

As far as COVID-19 concerns, Reed said if there are closures due to the pandemic, they are prepared to make deliveries to make sure the businesses and Valeo are covered. They will have a carry-out option, too.

Reed said Seymour Main Street will be assisting him in creating a website, and he plans to have a Facebook page for the restaurant.

He said everyone is excited for him, and he is excited about bringing the best steak possible to this unique little town of ours.

“Seymour is really stepping it up downtown, and I’m just glad to be a part of it,” Reed said. “This whole town has done so much to help, and everybody’s just pulling together and doing everything.”

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What: Reed’s Place: Steak and Chop Shop grand opening

When: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday

Where: 224 S. Chestnut St., Seymour

Regular business hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.


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