Josh and Katie Sandberg plan to open the Paisley Pig in the former Sam's Tacos space next to Culver's at the northwest corner of U.S. 31 and Jackson Street in mid- to late-May.
They were expecting to close on the purchase of the building today.
“We're super excited to be able to open in Grand Haven,” said Josh, who worked at the Hearthstone for 20 years. He waited tables, managed and, for the last 11 years, served as its executive chef. “I found my love was in the kitchen,” he said.
But don't expect a duplication of the Hearthstone menu at the Paisley Pig. Josh plans to put his own spin on the menu — American food with some Southern influence. Features will include duck and waffles (instead of chicken and waffles), shrimp and grits, smoked wings, ribs, and fresh fish.
“We're going to be pulling in as much as we can from local farms around Michigan,” he said.
That includes fresh rainbow trout from a trout farm near Manistee and bison from a Traverse City-area farm.
The menu will also include a full line of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees and artisan-style pizzas.
Josh expects his ribs, his own recipe, to be a popular selection.
“I've done it for quite a long time,” he said. “We served them at the Hearthstone. They're dry-rubbed, slow-cooked and braised for three and a half to four hours. They're fall-off-the-bone, char-grilled to order. I always have rave reviews on them.”
The Paisley Pig will also feature a chowder of the week, including clam and scallop. Smoked items will include wings, smoked whitefish dip and smoked salmon jerky that will be featured in a salad offering.
Josh said they’ll open in two phases — first in the 2,200-square-foot former Sam's Tacos space; then, in about six months, they want to expand into the adjacent 1,500-square-foot space with a bar and more seating.
“The plan is to serve alcohol,” he said. “We're working on obtaining a license. We will be opening most likely without our license, but we will go into serving beer and wine.”
Josh said he's happy to be offering locals another restaurant choice. He and Katie plan to give back to the community as much as possible through fundraisers and Rotary involvement.
“I really hope we can become a destination for people in the Grand Haven area and provide top-notch food and service that is always going to be good,” Josh said. “That's how we've been trained at the Hearthstone, to have that quality service and quality food.”
Some of that food will be fast, too. The Paisley Pig will offer select salad and sandwich selections as “grab and go” items.
“We'll pack them up and have them ready in our cooler,” Josh said.
But for those who choose to sit down and stay a while, the Sandbergs are striving for “a rustic farmhouse feel” in the Paisley Pig. Much of the décor will be fashioned from reclaimed wood, including the dining tables.
“It will be a rustic feel, but warm and homey,” Josh said. “... Our atmosphere is going to be laid back and fun. ... We want our customers and employees to enjoy themselves when they're at the Paisley Pig.”
He noted customers may see some similarities, but the Paisley Pig is not Hearthstone version 2.0.
“I'll be able to put more of my signature touches on my dishes because it's my own place,” Josh said. “I'll be able to venture off a little bit more and do some different types of cuisine. That's why it's exciting for me.”