By CATERINA GUINTA
Corkscrew Saloon opened its doors Tuesday promising food â€” and maybe some spirits â€” just in time for Halloween.
After walking up the cement stairs and opening the old-fashioned wooden door of the 19th-century house at 811 W. Liberty St., Medina, patrons can see themselves reflected in two mirrors as they walk in and the wooden floors creak.
The house is surrounded by stories of it being haunted, and the co-owners, Steven Charnigo and Ginny Vargo, hesitated to talk about any ghostly encounter.
â€œWe saw one night on the video camera, the orb or whatever you call it,â€ Charnigo said.
Vargo added: â€œI just thought it was a light reflection. If there are ghosts, then they are very, very friendly.â€
The Corkscrew Saloon is now open and offers a full menu for both lunch and dinner. From left are chef Ryan Marino, co-owners Ginny Vargo and Steven Charnigo and sous chef Keith Williams. (Andrew Dolph | Staff Photographer)
The co-owners purchased the home, formerly Pennyâ€™s Poorhouse, on April 20, but they had their eye on it for a while.
â€œWe loved the building â€¦ 20 years weâ€™ve looked at it,â€ Charnigo said.
While the inside structure is basically the same, the new owners re-vamped it.
â€œWe basically restored the whole house,â€ Charnigo said.
Vargo and Charnigo were in different careers before they decided to go into the restaurant business, they said. Vargo worked in accounting and Charnigo worked for an oil company for 20 years.
â€œInsanityâ€ caused the sudden shift, Vargo joked.
â€œEverybody looks back on their life and says, â€˜I wish I wouldâ€™veâ€™ or â€˜I shouldâ€™ve done this,â€™ â€¦ and the opportunity came up,â€ Charnigo said. â€œIt just kind of all fell together.â€
â€œIâ€™ve always wanted to have like a little neighborhood joint bar â€¦ he (Charnigo) always wanted to do the restaurant thing â€¦ and it just kind of happened,â€ Vargo added.
The name Corkscrew came about because the owners are wine drinkers, and Saloon was to capture the history of the home.
Though the history of the home is important to them, the co-owners long to be separated from Pennyâ€™s Poorhouse.
â€œI donâ€™t want it to be the old Pennyâ€™s Poorhouse,â€ Charnigo said. â€œI want it to be Steve and Ginnyâ€™s Corkscrew Saloon.â€
One way they plan to stand out is through their menu, Charnigo said. Corkscrew Saloon plans to have fresh fish, a liver dish, lamb and a choose-your-own steak. Customers can choose the size and thickness of their steak for $2.09 an ounce, Charnigo explained. They also offer a variety of salads, sandwiches, burgers and pasta dishes.
â€œWe tried to touch a little bit of everything for everyone,â€ Vargo said.
Corkscrew Saloon also will offer a pub menu for anyone who asks for one, Charnigo said. The pub menu has chicken wings, cheese sticks and more fried foods, he added.
Variety is one way the owners plan to survive in this economy.
â€œHopefully the economy will turn around â€¦ but the newness will probably draw peopleâ€™s curiosity for at least a few months,â€ Vargo said.
â€œThe one thing thatâ€™s going to helps us is Medina is kind of stale with places to eat,â€ Charnigo said.
In the future, the owners plan to open the upstairs to be a private dining area by reservation only, and perhaps live bands in the back areas.
Corkscrew Saloon opens at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday and, depending on business, they will close around 11 p.m. or midnight. They also may have a Sunday brunch from about 10 or 11 a.m. to 2 or 3 p.m. depending on demand. For information, call 330-725-0220.
World Truck Towing and Recovery Inc. has opened a third Medina County location at 4970 Park Ave. West in Seville.
â€œThis is a benefit to our customers because wherever the incident, we dispatch the call from our closest facility, saving time and money,â€ a World Truck Towing and Recovery statement said.
The new location has parts to sell and an alignment machine, and it will lead to about eight more jobs, said Joannie Neff, sales and marketing manager. The company also is certified to clean up hazardous materials.
The companyâ€™s slogan is â€œOne call does it allâ€ because employees tow, repair and clean up, Neff said. Employees also help firefighters with training, she added. The company brought in a tractor-trailer, overturned it and set off smoke bombs so crews could practice getting victims out, she explained.
World Truck Towing is a 38-year-old business. Its other locations are at 1041 Lake Road, Medina, and 3170 Ridge Road, Granger Township.
Carlson Funeral Homes
Carlson Funeral Homes, with locations in Brunswick and Medina, has been selected to become a certified â€œVeterans and Family Memorial Care Provider.â€ This means Carlson Funeral Homes can help veterans take advantage of their full burial benefit guaranteed to them by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, a company statement said.
The VA did a survey that found a third of all veterans were unaware they were entitled to free burial at any of the nationâ€™s 125 national cemeteries, the statement said.
In addition, the statement said Carlson offers veterans and their spouses a 10 percent discount and a complimentary wood and glass flag case.
To register for a free burial benefit or veterans funeral discount, call Carlson at 330-225-2400 or 330-722-5888.
Guinta may be reached at 330-721-4046 or firstname.lastname@example.org.