YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – West 34, downtown Youngstown’s newest restaurant and bar, has opened.
The restaurant, at the busy intersection of West Federal and North Phelps streets, has a modern Americana menu that ranges from burgers to steaks, an extensive wine selection and a rotating list of special cocktails.
The name and menu reflect a change in direction that the owners took before opening. The restaurant was originally to be called Tequila Coyote and have a Mexican theme and food.
“There was a switch in the ownership [team] and then a change in ideology,” says Will Happney, general manager. “We saw Gringo’s open [which offers Mexican food and drink] across the street and decided to go a different route.”
The new name is a play on the restaurant’s address: 34 West Federal St.
Menu offerings include familiar food served with a modern twist. “Steak 34 is one of our signatures,” Happney says. “It’s a hand-cut filet with a sweetened honey butter glaze over top.”
The burger menu includes one with balsamic caramelized onions, gruyere cheese and a peanut butter-based spread. “The saltiness and sweetness pairs really well,” Happney says. “These trendy takes will pull in people.”
Entrees are in the $10 to $25 range, which is about the same as similar restaurants in the downtown area. “We’re keeping it moderate so everyone will feel welcome to come on in,” Happney says.
The restaurant can seat between 85 and 100, while a long bar that seats about 40 is in the center of the rectangular room. The restaurant is lined with windows, with some that can open to create an opening onto the new Phelps Street pedestrian walkway for outdoor dining.
Work on the restaurant started early in 2020. It was originally slated to open in spring of that year, but was delayed by the pandemic.
West 34 employs 34. Restaurants are having a hard time finding employees at this time. At first, Happney says, West 34 was no exception.
“Back in March and April it was difficult to find staff. But once people could start seeing it take shape while walking past, [potential employees] started reaching out to me,” he says.
Happney previously worked as general manager at Barry Dyngle’s restaurant in Austintown and Stone Bridge in Boardman.
West 34 is open at 11 a.m. Monday through Friday, and at noon on Saturday. It will stay open until 2 a.m. on weekends. But close at about 10 p.m. on weeknights.