"We're doing an upscale pub and restaurant, and the whole thing about it is that we're putting up framed newspaper and magazine stories of all the major events that have happened since Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863," says Arnold.. "The decor is intended to stir up conversation. We want diners to stop and read about Elvis's death and then talk to the people they're with about where they were when it happened."
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But the restaurant won't be all about archived history. According to Arnold, there will also be a dozen TVs (most of them tuned to sports events); a library with a fireplace, books and encyclopedias; an all-craft beer list with no domestics on tap and an "offbeat wine list with lots of unusual blends." The menu, he adds, will be "traditional pub fare combined with comfort food dishes like tuna casserole, chicken and dumplings and steak tips." Nothing on the menu will go for more than $13. "Our goal is to definitely cater to the economy and provide great value," Arnold explains.
To that end, he's hired ex-Katie Mullen's sous chef Jon Konig, who, prior to that gig, was the corporate chef for the McLoughlin Brothers, the local restaurant group that owns Slattery's Irish Pub, McLoughlin's Restaurant & Bar and the Irish Snug. "Jon is a great chef and he really gets what we're trying to do here. I think that with his help, we can really make this a great neighborhood hangout with excellent food," says Arnold.
If all goes well, the Archive Room will open on Friday, November 13, the same day that Udi's Bread Cafe & Pizzeria , located across the street at 7600 Grandview Avenue, plans to unlock its doors. The Archive Room will be open daily for lunch and dinner and for Sunday brunch. "I think we're going to try and do late-night dining, too, which is something that everyone says can't be done," Arnold promises. "We're going to prove them wrong."