The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

June 2, 2013

Stake Out

New bar and restaurant in familiar place downtown

ASHTABULA — Downtown Ashtabula has a new bar and restaurant in an old familiar place. The Stake Out bar and restaurant opened on May 20th at 4618 Main Avenue in the space formerly occupied by the Kork and Kettle. The décor is different and there are more menu choices, but it’s still the same kind of intimate dining experience. It’s in an older building and there’s plenty of atmosphere. There’s a small but complete bar, dining room and dining al fresco on the patio.

“I used to work here and always thought it was a nice business,” Stake Out co-owner Debby Cox said. “It’s such a quaint little place. We’re really excited about opening.”

Co-owner Socky Cox retired after working with American Water for 40 years, and Debby retired after driving school bus for Ashtabula County DD for 31 years. They said they bought the bar and restaurant and started the Stake Out because they wanted a venture that brought personal satisfaction as well as income.

‘It’s nice to be part of keeping downtown Ashtabula development going,” Debby said. “The addition of Signature Health and a farmer’s market and other things to downtown should bring traffic and be good for businesses here.”

Socky and Debby Cox bought the Kork and Kettle from Jim Ruffle. The previous owners had established a niche based on high-quality food and drink in a unique location, and a strong identification with historical downtown Ashtabula. Both Socky and Debby hope to continue that tradition with some twists of their own.

“We’re still feature pasta dishes and we’re still doing the specialty pizzas,” Debby said. “They were popular when Jim had the place, so we’re keeping that going.”

She said she’s sticking with most things but adding entrée items like more steaks and a boneless prime rib-eye pork chop. They also will be serving prime rib on weekends.

“We’ll also be running lunch and dinner specials throughout the week,” she said.

There are house specialties, and specialty sandwiches and burgers with an old pulp detective stake out theme, bearing names like the Sam Spade 10 ounce flat iron steak and the Dick Tracy rib-eye pork chop and the Stake Out Burger with house specialty sauce. They also feature well-made side dishes and hand cut French fries.

Debby Cox said she credits her cooks Sherry Dragon and Shelly Millick with the menu’s appeal. The French onion, Italian wedding and vegetable soups, and other popular dishes are all homemade with gourmet creative touches by her local chefs.

“I trust their skill and experience and I’ve learned a lot from them,” she said.

Socky Cox said bringing the Stake Out to fruition took a lot of work. Family members helped renovate the bar and dining room. The work was all done by local people..

“We have a new décor, it’s been remodeled,” he said. “We replaced carpet and did all the interior work.”

He and Debby Cox said they were pleased with how well things have gone so far and that they enjoy what they are doing.

“I love it,” he said. “I love the food, the things you won’t find anywhere else in town. And the patio is great. So I am definitely enjoying what I’m doing.”

The kitchen is open from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday – Friday. Saturday, until 10 p.m. The phone number is 992-3013.

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