Economic Development

West and Main Keeps Warren Heading ‘Up and Up’

WARREN, Ohio – With the recent arrivals of a brewery, coffee shop and wine bar – along with the fast approaching opening of the Robins Theater – downtown, the opening of a new restaurant, West and Main Bar and Grill, serves as a “nice complement” to development in the district, the city’s mayor said Tuesday.

“There’s a lot of excitement and energy downtown, so this symbolizes the momentum that’s happening already,” Mayor Doug Franklin said at the restaurant’s ribbon cutting. “What’s nice about all of these new additions is they’re all unique.” 

Supporting other local businesses and to be a part of the revitalization is an honor and a blessing, said Gabriel Gouvas, chef and owner. He is excited about what’s to come in the city and about the opening of his new restaurant. 

“[The city] is growing very quick and we’re going to grow very quick with it,” he said. “We want people to come here and have fun, feel safe, walk the city, walk the town, walk the square. I think all local businesses are trying to do the same thing and have the same goal. If we can be a part of that team, we’ll be OK.”

Warren is Gouvas’s hometown and West and Main is his way of giving back to the community that gave so much to him, he said. Customers can expect a fresh, seasonal menu that includes smoked wings, brisket and roasted pork belly. 

After The Lime Tree closed, Gouvas took over the space at 187 W. Market St. in February. The space underwent a $200,000 renovation project that installed new brick, a bar, flooring, paint, new bathrooms and a new kitchen with equipment. 

“I truly believe that Gabe’s creativeness with the food but with the same familiar type of dinners will attract everybody from all classes,” said Andrew Puharich, front of house manager. “They can come in for a relaxing beer or they can have a fine dining experience as well.”

Being able to provide a relaxing, fine dining experience for customers is one of Puharich’s goals at West and Main in order to bring success to the restaurant and to the city of Warren, he said. 

“Warren is not a scary place and with the rise in new businesses and attractions, more and more people will see that,” he said. “These new businesses between Jacked [Steakhouse], ourselves and CharBenay’s are here right at the perfect time to reap some of that reward and I believe the people of Warren and outside of Warren all know that it is on the up and up.” 

In light of The Lime Tree’s closure, West and Main is reflective of the rebounding spirit people have in the city of Warren, Franklin said. The community is looking forward to enjoying the new restaurant along with the others downtown, he added. 

“I’m very excited and I think a lot of our citizens, patrons and residents are excited,” the mayor said. “We always seem to recover from whatever downturn that happens not only in business but in life. That’s the heart of Warren.” 

Future plans of providing carry out, catering, a new banquet room and even a second West and Main that’s bigger are plans Gouvas has in mind. He is also hoping that his new restaurant will be a motivator towards other local businesses as well. 

“Hopefully it will spread a positive outlook on the city and what everyone’s trying to do,” he said. “I want to thank everybody in the city – my landlord, councilmen. They were great. I’ve had a lot of help and support, so we’re going to get it going.” 

Pictured: At the ribbon cutting for West and Main are Warren Mayor Doug Franklin, chef and owner Gabriel Gouvas, his girlfriend Lisa Gabriel and Warren director of public safety and service Enzo Cantalamessa.

Copyright 2019 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.