The Grub’n Monkey, a new restaurant and bar in Hillsboro located at the Hillsboro Elks Lodge at 451 Danville Pike, opened for business Saturday, Oct. 1.
James Hillis said he considers his restaurant to be a homestyle establishment. “We try to just recreate being at home, and we don’t do anything fancy,” he said. “You get it here just like you would get it at your house, and that’s the way we wanted it because it’s more inviting I think.”
Hillis said none of the meat at the restaurant is frozen. “We do everything fresh,” he said.
Hillis worked as a cook at The Tavern in West Chester and The Salty Dog in Fairfield before launching his Grub’n Monkey food trailer the beginning of this year.
“I got invited to come here and do their golf tournaments, and after two weeks here they loved my food and offered me the restaurant,” he said.
The Grub’n Monkey is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m., and the bar remains open until 2:30 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Indoor cornhole tournaments are held every Thursday night at the restaurant. “They actually came from The Porch because it’s too cold to be outside,” said Hillis. “Friday nights we have karaoke, and Saturday nights we’ll have live bands.
Grub’n Monkey has nine employees and can comfortably seat about 150 people.
“We’re trying to organize an open-mic night where people can come in and sing, do comedy, or whatever they want to do — if you want to read poems, we don’t care,” said Hillis.
The restaurant also features local artwork that may not otherwise be seen. “We allow them to come in and hang their paintings, put a price on them, and maybe sell them,” said Hillis.
While the Gub’n Monkey is located inside the Elks Lodge, it is separate from the organization.
“We’re hoping we can benefit from each other with me pulling people here and getting them interested in the golf course,” said Hillis. “A lot of people, I’m finding, think this is a private club, but anybody can come to the restaurant, and the golf course is public. Everything downstairs is public except for their bar — that’s a private bar — but everything else here is public.”
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.