YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Long-time friends Antonio Owens and Waymond Chambers, who grew up on the East Side, have combined their talents to open The Take Out.
The takeout-only “Southern soul cuisine” restaurant opened in late July at 1852 Oak St. – just four blocks away from the house where Chambers lived as a child.
The menu features ribs smoked on-site, fried chicken, wing dings, catfish, haddock, chicken cheese steaks, smoked beef brisket, pulled pork and ox tails. Side dishes include French fries, baked beans, sweet yams, cole slaw, cake and pie. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Owens handles the business end of The Take Out, and Chambers is the head chef and store manager. Owens did not reveal the amount the business partners spent on buying and renovating the location but said it was significant.
“We’re deep,” Owens said. “We put a nice amount into it. But it’s well worth the investment. We did it because we believe in our community.”
The building’s interior and exterior have been completely renovated and the store has a custom-built smoker. The partners did not obtain financing for the venture, instead funded it themselves.
Owens, a University of Toledo graduate, is a barber and a licensed real estate sales agent who has started businesses before.
“I took what I knew and learned through the years and applied it to here,” he said.
Chambers is an experienced cook but this is his first time working in a restaurant.
“I learned from watching generations of my family cook the same things I am cooking now,” he said. “It’s chicken, smoked meats, a multitude of things but all on the Southern side.”
The idea to team up and open a takeout restaurant – a first for either man – surfaced a few years ago.
“I ran across my friend, who is one of the best cooks I’ve ever known, and said ‘I have an idea,’ and he just ran with it,” Owens said. “We said ‘Let’s do it, now is the time’ … and then the pandemic came. It tried to slow us down but we kept the faith because we knew this is what we are meant to do.”
The Take Out, which had its ribbon-cutting Thursday, employs at least five.
The owners intend to keep the takeout-only format in place for the foreseeable future but did not rule opening a dining room at some point.
To place an order, call 234-855-1293 or just stop in.
Pictured at top: The Take Out employees include (front) Lynette Salter, Ciera Harris, Jackie Chambers, (rear) Cicely Chambers, co-owner and chef Waymond Chambers and Destini Withers.