Canyon Grille offers casual, community oasis in the Rough Hollow neighborhood

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What started conceptually as a boat and gift shop evolved into a restaurant by 2009, when Canyon Grille was born. Today, the establishment is “simply designed to be an extension of your home,” six-year restaurant manager Christopher Barret said.

Barret added Canyon Grille is a place to meet friends, relax, put your feet up and enjoy the sunset after a long day at work.

Executive Chef Alex Foreman said the restaurant started out fancy. He said people would walk by and see wine glasses on the tables, and they would be afraid to come in wearing their shirts and flip-flops.

“We decided to make this place more casual,” he said. “About 50 percent of our business is repeat business—people that come in multiple times a week—which is the kind of atmosphere we wanted to promote. We want people to come in and feel welcomed and familiar.”

True to that sentiment, Canyon Grille’s website states customers should not “mistake our fine food for stuffy pretense.”

The restaurant and the staff have a goal of being consistent with every customer who comes in, Barret said, and staff members try their best to be flexible with the menu to accommodate what people like.

“Canyon Grille is a place where you enter for the first time and leave like you have been there all of your life,” Barret said. “As the manager of the restaurant, I always love to meet new residents, new customers and welcome back the regulars. The best part of the job is to have fun doing it; to see the customers with a smile on their faces when we bring the food.”

Barret added the casual and familiar atmosphere of the restaurant provides welcome familiarity for customers. The employees get to know people and start to memorize orders, making the place feel like home, he said.

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