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Local businessman will try anything once

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Newly minted restaurateur Jeff Sheets is no stranger to running a business. His resume includes things like Jeff's Auto, his car repair shop, and a former used car lot, but he freely admits he's new to the food industry.

Of his latest venture, the Quick Pit Stop restaurant, Sheets said, "It used to be a special occasion if you went out to eat. Now, it's a special occasion if you stay home. The Pinch community needs a restaurant."

Sheets is not the first person to try his hand at a dining establishment in this small unincorporated area of Kanawha county. A few years ago, Mollohan's, a family-style restaurant, opened a few miles farther down the road to Quick, but did not last very long.

"They had good food, but people had to drive out there," Sheets recalled. "It is all about location, location, location."

He hopes Quick Pit Stop's location at the forks of U.S. 114 and Quick Road will get better traffic and draw a crowd.

Sheets already owned the building, which housed his used-car business. Sheets said the building was completely gutted and remodeled, so while people might recognize the exterior, its interior has a '50s-retro-meets-gearhead feel.

 The floors are in a black-and-white checkered pattern. The tables and chairs are stainless steel with shiny holographic silver tops. A jukebox sits by the entrance. A bar with high-top stools takes up part of the dining area, where patrons will soon be able to order a cocktail with their food.

An industrial metal garage door decorates one wall, and the entire restaurant sports shiny diamond plate sheet metal on the walls, from the floor to the chair rail. Even the bathroom stalls are crafted from the stuff. Sheets said it's actual diamond plate, the same kind used to craft truck bed liners and stepside tool boxes, not an interior design wall covering.

"If it isn't steel, it isn't real," he joked.

There is a large flat screen TV behind the bar so that patrons can watch WVU play football or the latest NASCAR race. Sheets said eventually there be more TVs around the dining area.

Behind the restaurant, surrounded by a tall privacy fence, is a large outdoor patio, which will soon be furnished with tables, chairs and umbrellas.

Continuing the car theme, the entrees served at Quick Pit Stop have auto-themed names. There is a Stretch Limo, which includes two hot dogs with tons of toppings including house-made slaw, house-made chili, shredded cheese, kraut and onions. He also offers a sandwich called Pontiac Pork with the meat smoked on site.

Sheets is offering lighter fare with the Subaru Salad -- a bed of organic mixed greens, topped with fresh fruit and grilled chicken. The price of the entrees is still being worked out, but Sheets says they will probably range from $9 to $18.

Sheets said he and the staff strive to serve quality homemade food, from weighing and hand patting each 1/3-pound hamburger patty, to smoking their own pork. The coleslaw and chili are made on-site from top-secret recipes.

In addition to the regular lunch menu, Quick Pit Stop will offer a dinner plate special in the evenings. For example, Thursday night's special was lasagna with garlic bread. In the future, Sheets plans to offer a Sunday buffet-style brunch.

Sheets said a grand-opening celebration will be held from 4 to 6 p.m., Sept. 6, with a local radio station DJ and a giveaway for a pair of Blake Shelton concert tickets.

The restaurant can be rented for parties, and was the locale for the recent Herbert Hoover High School Class of 1978 reunion.

Quick Pit Stop is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Reach Autumn D.F. Hopkins at autumn.hopkins@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.


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