The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

September 8, 2013

Harbor landmark has a new team at the helm of reborn Basil’s Cafe

CONNEAUT — A Conneaut Harbor landmark is back in business, filling stomachs while fulfilling a couple’s career dreams.

Basil’s Cafe, 182 Park Ave., is again serving breakfast and lunch at its lakefront location, but this time under new management. Owner Trisha Cusano-Hall and her fiancé, Justin Fox, re-opened the eatery about five weeks ago. Response has been very encouraging.

“We’ve got a lot of regulars already,” Cusano-Hall said. “It’s crazy. We’ve picked up business a lot quicker than we expected.”

Preparing meals for the public has long been the couple’s ambition, she said. Previously, both held “high-stress” jobs that weren’t particularly satisfying, said Cusano-Hall, a former elementary school teacher who has also worked as a waitress.

“We would have this fantasy talk about owning our own restaurant,” she said. “One day we were out driving and discussing our restaurant fantasy, and then we said, ‘Well, why don’t we?’”

Cusano-Hall contacted members of the NEO Fund, which encourages and funds worthwhile business initiatives in Ashtabula County. “I wrote, then re-wrote a business plan,” she said.

The NEO board loved the concept and the menu, but felt the couple’s original location near the downtown district wouldn’t work. “I was crushed,” Cusano-Hall said.

A few weeks later, board members called to ask if she had ever considered the Park Avenue spot.

“They thought Basil’s would fit our plan,” she said.

Cusano-Hall and Fox spent much of the summer redecorating the restaurant and fine-tuning their menu of “American classics and comfort food,” she said.

“We use no frozen or processed food,” Cusano-Hall said. “Everything’s fresh.”

The operators were happy to keep the business’ original name.

“Basil’s was already known for breakfast and lunch,” Cusano-Hall said. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Some people are calling us the new Basil’s.”

The team’s early success already has them thinking of expansion. “Maybe a dinner operation at a different location,” Cusano-Hall said.

Basil’s Cafe is open 6 a.m.-2 p.m. daily

1
Text Only
Local News
Ashtabula County Alive
July 4 Celebrations 2014
Summer off to Big Start
Ashtabula County Flag Day 2014
Northeast Ohio Soap Box Derby 2014
Tour de State Line and Boating Season
Ashtabula County Memorial Day 2014
Sam Magill Sr. Memorial
Armed Forces Echo Taps 2014
Lakeside Loop Color Run
Keeping Ashtabula County Clean and Healthy
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB'