By David Hoekman
Six years ago, Stephanie and Mike Karas were pondering names for the bar and grill they wanted to open.
Veterans of the local restaurant scene, the husband-and-wife team was passionate about having a place of their own.
They had a location, concept, menu and business plan.
What they needed was a name.
One night as they were thinking about prospective names, Stephanie shrieked, “salt and pepper.”
Not only does Salt & Pepper Savory Grill and Pub refer to Mike’s salt-and-pepper hair, but also the condiments that go great together.
The name also inspired an interaction between the restaurant and its customers.
“The shakers come from customers,” Mike said, referring to the collection of 750 (and counting) sets of salt and pepper shakers displayed in the restaurant.
Slightly adventurous menu
“Salt and Pepper is an upscale casual American pub and grill with a slightly adventurous menu,” Mike said. “The menu items are recognizable, but not boring.”
The menu is tweaked three times a year. Some items rotate or are offered seasonally.
Although the menu sells evenly, Mike said roasted Angus prime rib, seared Ahi tuna salad and olive burgers are popular.
The restaurant seats about 160 diners and the patio can accommodate another 60.
Mike is especially proud of the 65 people who work at Salt & Pepper.
“We really focus on delivering hospitality,” he said.
The next big thing will be a fall visit by well-known restaurant consultant Bill Marvin, known as The Restaurant Doctor.
“He’s going to bring a fresh set of eyes to Salt & Pepper,” Mike said. “The goal is to see how to stay relevant and bring better things to our guests.” n
Salt & Pepper Savory Grill and Pub
11539 E. Lakewood Blvd., Suite 50
Salt & Pepper owner Mike Karas said the Cork Club program at Salt & Pepper provides members exclusive access to exceptional wines.
Membership benefits include a personal wine bin, invitations to quarterly Cork Club wine tasting events and discounts on wine purchases.