When Bill MacDonell opened Route 5 Grill and Seafood in Woodlawn in July of 2017 little did he know that he would quickly need much more space.
“We outgrew that location – we didn’t have enough seating or parking,” he said. “There’s a need for what we do with fresh seafood. People love it and we couldn’t accommodate the customers.”
MacDonell, who runs the restaurant with his sons Tyler and Cody, opened a new location in Lake View in November at 1957 Lakeview Road.
“People are finding us and the majority of customers followed us," MacDonell said. "We’re not far from where we started and we are starting to see new faces and get new clientele.”
Regular customers will notice that the menu is the same as the other restaurant with the addition of a full bar with a pub-style menu featuring staples like chicken wings and fingers.
“We have a pretty diverse menu to begin with,” MacDonell said. “Seafood, steak, chicken, pasta dishes and signature gourmet burgers, plus we added the late-night menu.”
Seafood stuffed cod and blackened fish are customer favorites and MacDonell said that the fish is always fresh and never frozen.
An addition at the new location that will catch your eye is a fun claw machine with live lobsters. The cost is $2 a try. "It’s the only lobster claw machine in this area,” MacDonell said. “If you catch a lobster, we cook it for you.”
Customers often try their luck and end up chowing down on lobster. “People catch them all the time – probably three times a week they get caught. There’s no gimmick,” MacDonell said. “They’re easier to catch than stuffed animals.”
MacDonell, who also works another full-time job, said he has been in the restaurant business his whole life and always wanted to own his own place. His sons encouraged him to venture into it.
“We took a shot at the other place and it went over really well and we outgrew the space so here we are,” he said. “My two sons run the kitchen and within the next year they could run the whole thing. They throw me out of the kitchen now.”
Route 5 Grill and Seafood just extended its hours to be open daily so MacDonell hired more staff to keep up with the demand. He also has plans in the works including adding a patio this spring.
“We are finalizing the banquet area for large parties and we are trying to push live music on Fridays and Saturdays and we are remodeling the building,” he said. “We plan on being here forever. I don’t plan on ever moving.”
Route 5 Grill and Seafood
1957 Lakeview Road, Lake View (980-6131, facebook.com/route5grillandseafood)
Opens at 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon on Sunday.