Wheeling, WV (September 22, 2014) — The Vagabond Kitchen celebrated its official grand opening on Saturday with approximately 150 guests that showed up to show their love and support for the Wheeling Restaurant.
With a prix fixe of $15, guests were treated to appetizer portions of everything on the menu, live music by Aaron Carey, and exclusive tastings by Center Market’s Casa di Vino and Brew Keepers who showed up to provide endless samples of their signature brews. Also on hand were CrossRoads farm, the Vagabond Kitchen’s newest local food partnership as well as Pete Wildey with AtTiTuDz Studio, the featured artist currently on display in the kitchen’s main dining area.
The crowd ate, drank and provided a sea of conversations on topics ranging from The Vagabond Kitchen mainstays of the importance of farm-to-table philosophy and downtown Wheeling’s ongoing revitalization and reinvention to catching up with old friends and professional networking. In attire ranging from suits and ties to a representation from the local motorcycle club, Roughnecks, sporting their cuts proudly, the Vagabond Kitchen showed its true colors as a place that brings people together by cutting through the normal social bottlenecks that have long plagued the Ohio Valley.
Matt Welsch was ecstatic with the overwhelming turnout.
“Saturday’s turnout was pretty amazing. From our facebook invites and personal commitments, I expected about a hundred or so, but it looks so much different when it’s actually in your dining room. My biggest win for the evening was that people didn’t just stop in to say, ‘Hi,’ and then leave. People stuck around and talked until past the posted ending time. People drank, had a good time and took the time to meet new people. I really couldn’t have asked for anything else. At every turn, Wheeling shows up and proves what kind of place it is turning into. Good things are ahead — for the kitchen, certainly — but we’re just a part of something so much bigger — and I still feel like so many people are missing out on that. Whatever role we can play on bringing more people into that spirit of hope and belief that Wheeling and the Ohio Valley can be something better than what everyone complains about, I will consider that a win. And for our part, the Vagabond Kitchen will continue to push the standard of what a good dining experience and quality should be.”
Welsch said this is a product of a couple months of customer and staff feedback.
“Nothing is changing except we’re not serving breakfast on the weekdays. At the end of the day, we felt like we would be better served by taking those resources that were being used on breakfast and using them to improve our selection and service at dinner and in our ongoing work to improve our speed for a lunch crowd that is made up of a growing number of professionals from the surrounding downtown offices and firms. We don’t know if this is a change that will last forever, but we do feel like this is the best way for us to provide the best service to our current customers while making a concerted effort to promote and offer some more things like our private meeting room in the lower section of the restaurant for parties and business luncheons. Plus, our staff works really hard and is pretty happy to get a couple extra hours of sleep in the mornings. We like to keep them as happy as possible as well.”