DANVILLE — After more than a year of major renovations, inside and outside, Rich's Deluxe restaurant is ready to open in downtown Danville.
With a new facade that features outdoor seating and a new layout inside that features a more open floor plan, the staff at the restaurant, 21 W. North St., are readying for a soft opening on Monday, according to owner Rich Imeri.
Dana Schaumburg, executive director of Downtown Danville Inc., which represents downtown businesses, has been watching the transformation inside and out as she's continued to check in with the establishment's progress through the last year. She said it's going to be a great addition to downtown, especially with the outdoor seating.
"It doesn't even look like the same place. The colors are vibrant, and it has a nice feel when you walk into the place," she said. "I'm excited for everyone else to see it."
Imeri owns two other local restaurants, Rich's Family Restaurant, 2200 Georgetown Road, Tilton, and Rich's Family Restaurant, 305 W. Ellen St., Ogden. He bought The Deluxe Restaurant in the spring of 2012 from the Poulos family. The Deluxe has been in existence since 1935, and the late Pete Poulos bought it in 1965. He died in 2005, and his family continued to run it until the sale to Imeri last spring.
After the purchase, Imeri decided not to immediately reopen the well-known downtown eatery that was famous for its halibut. Instead, he opted to renovate it inside and outside. The restaurant will be open for lunches and dinners.
Schaumburg said the restaurant has been gutted on the inside and features a salad bar, a bar area and two large seating areas, and a menu with a variety of choices, including steak, pasta and seafood. She said the menu will be a great addition to other downtown restaurants, because it will serve dishes not already available. Schaumburg said it will also be good to have a restaurant serving in the evenings, to pull more people downtown along with the other events like the Summer Sounds concert series, which started this month.
"It's taken a while to get open, but they wanted to do it right and wanted to make sure all the inside was ready to go," said Schaumburg, who has regularly been asked in person or by phone about when it would open. "A lot of people have been anxiously waiting, but I think it will be well worth the wait."