by Conner Howard | Reporter
Twinsburg — Despite closing its doors in early spring 2012 after more than 10 years of operation on Darrow Road, Rush Hour Bar and Grill is back in action, now located at 10683 Ravenna Road in the former Tail-Gator’s location.
Rush Hour owner Sara Steele, a bartender at the original Darrow Road Rush Hour, purchased Tail-Gator’s in early September from Jaime and Kelly Kane. She said the new location is a way to improve business by using the recognizable Rush Hour name and menu.
Tail-Gator’s had been operating under that name since 1996 until Steele’s purchase. The re-branding from Tail-Gator’s to Rush Hour has been beneficial for business, according to Steele.
“We are doing a third more business than Tail-Gator’s did per month,” Steel said. “Our food sales have tripled because of our menu, our bar business has tripled — we’re doing a lot of sales. Almost so much we can’t keep up.”
Steele said the re-branding did not involve much change in the size or layout of the bar or the bar’s staff, as Rush Hour uses “pretty much the same employees” as Tail-Gator’s. There was, however, a change to the kitchen, which was stocked with new equipment and geared toward a new menu.
The original Rush Hour at 8870 Darrow Road is now Spice Thai Cuisine, a Thai food restaurant.
Rush Hour’s return has made some fans within the community. Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Abby Schroll said she was impressed with the new Rush Hour experience.
“I think it’s great,” Schroll said. “I just recently went to the new Rush Hour a couple weeks ago and when I walked in I thought it was a very fresh new look in there. I thought it definitely had a very young, fun look to it. I thought the menu was cool, everybody I was with seemed to really enjoy it.”
Years of experience in bartending and a lifetime of roots and connections in the community will be valuable to Steele as a bar owner.
“I’ve been here for my entire life so this is the spot where I would open a bar at,” Steele said. “I know everyone in Twinsburg, I know all the government, I know everybody’s dogs’ names, I know their kids’ names ... I know everything about Twinsburg.”
Having climbed the ladder from bartender to successful business owner, Steele said she’s happy with the re-branding and the location for her establishment.
“I’m very happy with the location. I grew up directly across the street. My house in Twinsburg is one street away from here. We do well. It’s almost like I fell backwards into a very, very good situation.”