“We’re really excited,” Tyler said of the new venture he and his family are taking on. “We’ve been open two weeks and we’re getting great feedback. Together, Tonya and I have 40 years of experience in the restaurant business, but this is our first restaurant. We’re tired, but this is exciting. We’re ready.”
Onyx is located at the Ace Hardware shopping center where Pee Wee Muldoon’s used to operate, but don’t expect Onyx to inherit Pee Wee’s rowdy reputation. This bar and grill will be more family friendly and community minded.
“We want to see the cops here, but they’ll be sitting down enjoying a meal with the rest of our customers,” predicted Tyler. “This won’t be a raging party place. We want this to be a place for families. We’re working on a lot of ideas so that kids enjoy themselves, too.”
Some of the ideas include creating a candy corner and installing an old-fashioned soda fountain where kids can perch themselves on a stool and enjoy root beer floats. There’s also talk of doing open mic and karaoke in the early evening so that kids may participate.
Tonya said Onyx’s key demographic is young families that can bring kids in for dinner – or parents who can leave the kids with the babysitter, come out for a drink and listen to a local blues band.
“We want to bring in the bedroom community,” said Tonya. “We want to rock the baby-in-the-bedroom community. There aren’t a lot of places for people to go on a Saturday night around here. We want this to be a fun, low-key place where you can come listen to music and meet with friends.”
And it’s a place to come enjoy a top-notch meal at a low price. Tyler has been working in restaurants for 20 years, in the worlds of “fine dining and low dining,” so he crafted his menu to include comfort food ideal for a quick bite – or a sit-down dinner. The specially seasoned grilled, 14-ounce ribeye steak, served with homemade barbecue sauce, goes for $18. One of Oynx’s signature meals, the Homewrecker chili dog, an 8-ounce dog smothered in chili and cheese, goes for $7.
“I wish I had more time to come out and talk to customers, but I never leave the kitchen,” Tyler said. “If I’m not the one cooking, I’m overseeing the staff to make sure everything is done right. We’re striving for consistency. We want you to have a good, hot meal at a low price and we want you to expect to find the same quality service each time you come here.”
The philosophy is simple, but it seems to be working. Tyler and Tonya said they’re already seeing regulars who come back a second or third time with a new group of friends each visit, and the word-of-mouth promotion brings in new customers every day.
For the grand opening, which kicks off at 9:30 p.m. tonight, when the duo 2Tight takes the stage, the Dwyers will offer food and drink specials as well as raffle prizes. The Onyx happy hour runs Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., so even if you can’t make it to the show, there are plenty of chances to find great deals and meals at Onyx.
Onyx Bar and Grill, located at 8900 Brentwood Blvd. Suite C, is open Sunday through Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. For more information, call 925-684-7250 or visit www.onyxbarandgrill.com.