New downtown Springfield eatery hopes to open in early April

Retail space in the City of Springfield parking garage some of which will be occupied by the new downtown Springfield business Charlo’s Provisions & Eatery. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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Retail space in the City of Springfield parking garage some of which will be occupied by the new downtown Springfield business Charlo’s Provisions & Eatery. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

A new restaurant that aims to offer traditional family recipes as well as a store featuring food products from local producers is hoping to open its doors in downtown Springfield by the beginning of April.

Charlo’s Provisions & Eatery will feature a sit-down restaurant with “heritage” style cooking and a small shop with small-batch goods and locally-produced items. The business will be located on North Fountain Avenue, occupying street level retail space attached to a city-owned parking garage.

One side will operate similar to a market that will feature local goods and work with local food producers and brands. The other side will operate as a restaurant that will explore “the traditions and origins behind iconic foods from around the world and shared recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation among families and communities,” said owner Chad Druckenbroad.

Druckenbroad also owns the E.A.T. food truck and has operated the business for about eight years. He said that he joined the food industry because of his love for cooking.

The idea of establishing Charlo’s Provisions & Eatery came from a desire to open a restaurant as well as being part of revitalization efforts in downtown Springfield.

Another aspect is to offer a variety of goods and showcase the restaurant’s take on traditional recipes.

The restaurant is in contact with several farms in Clark County and another in Champaign County to provide local meats and aims to work with some local farmers markets to showcase some of their products as well as working to highlight local Ohio brands, such as those that sell potato chips.

Druckenbroad said that he wants to provide goods that you may not be able to find at large grocery store chains.

The goal is to eventually expand offerings to showcase products that are not just local, but regionally as well as from other parts of the Midwest and other areas of the country.

“We want to do food using local ingredients and local goods. But make foods and use recipes that were passed down by generations,” said Druckenbroad, who added that recipes and dishes that will be served at the restaurant would often be categorized as “comfort foods” from different parts of the world and different parts of the country.

“Foods that were put together because that was all the ingredients that they had to their availability. There is definitely going to be a nod to southern cooking. I spent a lot of time in the south. Basically just taking what you had and being able to come up with these beautiful dishes,” Druckenbroad said of the comfort food inspiration of his restaurant that also aims to highlight where these foods come from and the traditions associated with them.

He also noted that some dishes that will be served would include staples such as shrimp and grits, types of pot pies and other traditional comfort foods with a twist to them.

However, that target date of being up and running by early April is contingent on whether or not there are delays related to building up their future space. Charlo’s is investing a total of $400,000 and the hope is to have more than a dozen full-time employees for the restaurant/store.

Charlo’s Provisions & Eatery is a part of the city’s plan to convert 3,000 square feet of retail space at the garage on North Fountain Avenue, which opened in 2020, into store fronts.

When Charlo’s opens it will join Alcony Weavers, which already occupies one of those store fronts and specializes in dyed materials such as wool and cotton, and also sells products made out of those materials.

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