That’s the message new owner Josh Greene stressed Friday about Norwalk’s gastro-pub.
Greene, of Cleveland, purchased the Norwalk Bar 145° in early 2016 and has set about to change its direction.
In recent months, the restaurant/bar has not been open for lunch.
That all changes at 11:30 a.m. Monday when lunch returns to the Milan Avenue location.
Bar 145° originally opened in Norwalk in August 2014 under different ownership and management.
“I was interested in buying it right after it opened in 2014,” said Greene, who also owns Bar 145°’s in Avon, Kent, and Rochester, N.Y.
Greene said he was busy with his other locations, so the conversation about purchasing the Norwalk restaurant didn’t pick up again until late 2015.
After the purchase was complete, Greene knew there was work to do.
“We went back to basics,” he said. “There is a new staff and they are friendly.”
Greene 34, said he and staff have talked to local residents about what they wanted from Bar 145°.
“It will be a traditional Bar 145° menu, but with a local Norwalk flavor,” he said.
Greene said new general manager Chad Rayl will ensure the restaurant keeps its focus.
Customer service is the top priority, Greene promised.
“Customer service is everything,” he said, adding he knows Bar 145° will have to prove itself to local residents.
“This is a place where people come to have a great experience,” Greene said. “A place where they can forget about life for a bit. If it’s a bad experience, we’re not doing our job. This is a place where you come to have fun.
”Again, we’re getting back to the basics,“ he said. ”This is a place that will be family-friendly. It will be kid-friendly.“
Greene said he’s considering adding volleyball courts behind the restaurant.
He was excited when the Norwalk location became available.
”We need to give a great product to a great group of people,“ he said.
Greene acknowledged the tough restaurant competition in town, but added, in the past, Bar 145° was responsible for its own struggles.
He praised local contractor, Ken Russ, from Legends, for his support throughout the entire process. Russ and Legends built the Norwalk Bar 145°.
”I don’t know what Ken Russ loves more, Norwalk or Bar 145°,“ Greene said.
The restaurant is known for burgers, bands and bourbon.
”We’re going to have bands,“ Greene said. ”Starting out, maybe one or two a month.“