There are plenty of restaurants that offer customary American food or that focus on a particular ethnic cuisine. Elizabethtown’s newest restaurant, the Oh Yeah Grille, bills its offerings as “internationally inspired American fusion” – a diverse offering of gourmet burgers, regional favorites like cheesesteaks along with a variety of ethnic foods, such as Italian antipasto salad, Filipino lumpia and Chinese lo mein.
Andrew Schoenberger, who co-owns the restaurant at 346 Hershey Road (the former home of the Trolley Stop Diner) along with executive chef Chris Rosa, said the idea was to create a place where a group of friends with different tastes can get together for a meal.
“We try to make Oh Yeah the place where everybody can be satisfied,” Schoenberger said.
The restaurant held its grand opening on Saturday, June 24, after a soft opening with a partial menu earlier. It is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; it does not sell alcohol, but customers are welcome to bring their own beer and wine. The parking lot has 50 spaces, more than enough to accommodate a full house.
“We want to be a fine dining food experience in a casual environment,” Schoenberger said.
Schoenberger started in the food service industry as a teenager working at Hersheypark selling burgers, funnel cakes and waffle cones. Later, when running an antique mall in Annville, he had a restaurant there, but he sold that business.
“I always wanted to open up my own place in E-Town,” he said. He later bought the Pita Pit franchise in downtown Elizabethtown and one in Harrisburg. The business began providing food for the Funk Brewing taproom next door, allowing for experimentation to find out what food people in Elizabethtown like.
Schoenberger said the food served at Oh Yeah has no added preservatives or sugars and focuses on fresh, local ingredients. A big part of the menu is burgers ranging from 4 ounces of beef to “The Savage,” which has two 8-ounce burger patties, four slices of bacon and cheddar cheese. That might not seem like a good nutrition choice, but Schoenberger said it can still be part of a healthy lifestyle for someone who gets plenty of exercise.
“Some people might consider burgers unhealthy – sure, if you eat that twice a day, every day,” Schoenberger said.
Schoenberger credited Rosa with developing the menu.
“He was a big part in developing the flavor profiles,” Schoenberger said. Schoenberger said they have complementary skill sets, with Rosa providing the chef skills and Schoenberger providing business experience as well as “front of house” experience, the restaurant industry term for the work that is visible to customers.
“It’s meant to be a fun, open atmosphere,” Schoenberger said.