Milan restaurant welcomed by community

Zoe Greszler • Jun 28, 2016 at 11:00 PM

MILAN -— Though he lives in Castalia, Eric Foltz considers Milan home. 

“We live in Castalia for now, but we’re coming back (to Milan) soon,” Foltz said. “My son (Hunter) goes to Edison schools and the Berlin-Milan area has been ‘home’ to me for 25 years.”

To pay homage to the community he loves and because he admits he has “a few screws loose,” Foltz and his girlfriend Pepper Richardson, an assistant treasurer for Edison schools, have taken over the ownership of Milan’s Invention Family Restaurant.

“We took it over about a month ago and officially opened last Thursday, so we’ve been open for maybe about a week and a half now. It took about a month to get the place ready,” Foltz said.

Customers can expect a new look, but the same great food, along with new menu items.

“We redid all the interior. A lot of the changes were cosmetic. Like the colors were very out of date and we added the chalkboard paint to the back wall, updated the paint job and colors and did lots and lots of cleaning,” he said.

“I don’t think anyone has had problems finding something they want and like from the menu yet,” he added.

“Our most popular is probably our trash potatoes. I think it is our best item,” Richardson said of the new menu dish. 

“Or maybe our tri-tip roast sandwiches,” Foltz added. “It’s a slow roasted, tender cut of meat. It’s very comparable to, if not better than, prime rib. That’s a big thing that we take in the food trucks.”

This is far from Foltz’s first restaurant rodeo.

“I have other restaurants I run,” he said.

“I run the Cold Creek Cafe, operate Cravins in New London, run the concessions at the baseball games in Castalia. I also have a catering business. I’m actually catering a wedding tonight, and take a food trailer (Cold Creek) to the area fairs and festivals. On top of those, we also own Cold Creek Confections, where we make and sell all of our own candies and confections.

“All the time there is is spent with the restaurants. Sleep (takes out) about four hours. The other 20 hours of the day is all in the restaurants.”

His confections will be coming to Milan as well.

“Right behind this building we bought the spaces back there and we’re turning it into a catering store and a location to create (the confections),” he said. “The girls in Castalia work hours a day on them right now.”

Though Invention has only been open for a little over a week, things appear to be going smoothly for the new owners.

“It’s absolutely going well. We’ve been staying busy,” Foltz said.

“Sales are trending about 500 percent up from where they were before we came. I think it’s both because of the ownership and the menu. And the community has been so receptive. We’ve had people thank us for taking it up — actually thanking us.”

More help is always welcomed, and for a “competitive” offer.

“We absolutely are looking for more employees,” he said “We have five or six (employees) right now and we need to double or triple that.”

The restaurant is open 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday and will be entertaining evening hours, possibly in the summer.

Foltz said they don’t judge. Unlike many eateries, these hours offer no restrictions on the time you can order a certain dish.

“We’re open seven days a week and we’re still focusing on breakfast, which we also serve in during the lunch hours,” he said. “All of our menu is available all day. If you came in at 7 a.m. and wanted lunch, you can get it. If you come in at 2 p.m. and wanted breakfast, you can get it.”

Those who would like more information on the restaurant or its employment can call 419-499-0478.

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