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Crestview Inn reopens for business Tuesday

BLOOMINGDALE — The Crestview Inn Restaurant will be open for business on Tuesday after COVID-19 shuttered operations at Jefferson County Joint Vocational School.

Students in the culinary arts program will put their skills on display by preparing and serving lunch and dinner items for the public. Instructor Glen Zalenski said the restaurant will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday and will offer dine-in and carryout options. Eleven juniors and seniors will create basic bistro cuisine such as burgers, fish sandwiches, broiled chicken dinners, chicken and steak salads and homemade soups while seasonal fare will be available.

Zalenski said his class will provide a preview for staff in the days leading up to the official reopening and everyone was excited to be up and running.

“This is going to be the first time in two years that we’re going to be open to the public. They are all first-year students and will be on the same page. None of the students have experience working in a restaurant, so they will be starting from scratch,” he added. “Once we’re past the simplicity of cooking, we will up the game a little and they will start contributing to the menu. We will also start cooking items they’ve learned in the classroom.”

He said the eatery will provide farm-to-table foods using fresh meats and produce from local sources as well as fresh herbs and spices when preparing dishes.

“That will give the students their experience waiting on the public and doing full service. It feels wonderful (to reopen) and I help we can stay open this year. The students are here to learn how to work with the public. We’re more than just a culinary school — we are learning to work with the public.

“They want immediate contact with the public, and that is important. We get to actually see how to interact with people we don’t know.”

Zalenski hopes to have students compete individually or in teams for SkillsUSA or ProStart contests, test for ServSafe Manager, earn certifications and become familiar with the hospitality industry. Other plans are to provide smoked meats onsite and for students to learn the basics of canning and preparing homemade pumpkin pies and applesauce. Meanwhile, the restaurant will also be available to host meetings and parties and will strive to meet COVID protocols.

“We will practice social distancing and our customers may wear masks. Our first objective is to stay safe so we can operate,” Zalenski noted.

The site is located at 1509 county Highway 22A in Bloomingdale. For takeout orders, reservations or information, contact the Crestview Inn at (740) 264-5545, Ext. 602.

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