CARBONDALE — Boondock’s Seafood Co. wants to become the go-to place for food, friends and fun.
The bar and grill on Carbondale’s far east side opens for business at 4 p.m. Monday.
“We want you to walk in here and it be different than any other place in Southern Illinois,” general manager and managing partner Shane Smith said. “We’ll have a laid-back atmosphere you want to come to, a getaway for an hour or two. We want it to be the first place that comes to mind when you want to have a good time.”
The weathered shell of a boat jutting out on a corner of Reed Station Road is the first indication there’s something a little different about the restaurant. Make the turn onto Reed Station Parkway and notice buoys around the dock — an all-weather, open-air patio — and the aged, colorful wood surrounding the entry.
Inside, the restaurant maintains the same basic layout of the Houlihan’s restaurant it replaces, but there the similarities end.
Corrugated metal, unique artwork done by freelance artist Jake Hamilton and server Morgan Lewis, comfy booths, a bar and subtly lit lounge create just the kind of atmosphere Boondock’s wanted, Smith said.
“It’s fun, it’s friendly and it has sort of a vacation-like feel,” he said. “We worked hard and did it all in-house — servers, cooks, everybody. I think that makes all of us more passionate to see it succeed.”
The restaurant, owned by father and son, Charlie and Trace Brown of Carbondale, has about 65 part-and full-time employees, most of them holdovers from Houlihan’s.
“Nobody lost their job. All the employees stayed and that helped make the transition easier,” Smith said.
Also on staff are assistant general manager Christopher Cowan and head cook Adam Eberlin.
“We’re locally owned and operated, and we’re proud of that,” Smith said.
The restaurant will be open seven days a week and will serve from a full-breakfast menu, 6 to 10 a.m. every day.
“We have a lunch-friendly menu with sandwiches, soups and salads, all quick and priced for lunch,” he said.
Dinners can order a wide range of foods from the dinner menu, he said, from a “terrific fish sandwich up to stuffed grouper or center-cut filet.”
Specials will be offered every day as well and the bar will offer up a variety of wines, beers, including craft beers, and drinks.
Smith invited the dining public to give Boondock’s a try.
“I think you’ll find a fun, friendly atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else,” he said.
On Twitter: @beckymalkovich