Mel’s Kitchen Opens in Former Fast Food Building

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – On the count of three, Mel Chase, the cook at Mel’s Kitchen, used a pair of oversized scissors to cut a blue ribbon Wednesday to celebrate its opening.

Mel’s, 3707 Belmont Ave., Liberty Township, opened last month in a building that formerly housed a fast food restaurant and stood vacant for two years.

“Our motto is ‘Good food fast,’ not fast food,” said Eric Davis, owner of Mel’s, after the ribbon was cut.

Davis owns another business, Alexander’s Diagnostic in Austintown, which specializes in auto repair.

He wanted to diversify his holdings, he said, hence Mel’s.

“I always thought the building would do well,” David said, “and I got tired of seeing it closed for almost two years.”

It took a year after Davis bought the building to restore it and convert it to the new restaurant.

His biggest challenge was remodeling the building. “Upgrades with the plumbing and equipment, signs, permit, and dealing with the health department was quite an ordeal,” he said.

Since it opened, business has been good, he reported, and he described the community as “really supportive.”

Mel’s specializes in “everyday, All-American food,” Davis said, which includes breakfast fare and sandwiches at lunch, the busiest times of day.

“Our theme is everyone eats,” Davis said, “and our focus is on the speed of our service.”

Pies, muffins, cookies and other treats fill the front counter.

Framed sketches of trains by the late Brookfield artist, “Hobo George” Dell hang on the walls. The sketches capture his life in the rail yards where he jumped trains all over the country, living through the Great Depression and both world wars.

In the future, Davis said, he hopes to designate a wall inside Mel’s where students at Liberty High School will paint a mural.

Pictured: Eric Davis and Mel Chase, the owner and cook at Mel’s Kitchen.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.