Taking part in the ribbon cutting at Smoke-E’s Bar & Grill were (left to right) Chamber Secretary Lottie Place, Chamber member Kevin Lammon, Chamber President Cammie Flores, co-owners Eric Rampe and B.J. Slussor, Chamber members Barbara Stanley and Catherine Fortman. (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)
Taking part in the ribbon cutting at Smoke-E’s Bar & Grill were (left to right) Chamber Secretary Lottie Place, Chamber member Kevin Lammon, Chamber President Cammie Flores, co-owners Eric Rampe and B.J. Slussor, Chamber members Barbara Stanley and Catherine Fortman. (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)

LEIPSIC — Leipsic Chamber of Commerce members had a good day on Thursday. They held two ribbon cuttings at new businesses on Main Street in their village.

Their first stop was at Smoke-E’s Bar and Grill. The restaurant, featuring award-winning chicken wings and pulled pork sliders, is owned by B.J. Slussor, Eric Rampe and Bob Gerten.

“I’ve always dreamed of having a restaurant and this just worked out,” said Rampe. He has been cooking wings for people for years.

“I also have 15 years experience in construction which was helpful when we decided to renovate this building,” Rampe said. The restaurant is located in the former Leipsic VFW Building. A long bar on one side is backed by two large openings into the sit down area for the restaurant. The openings were former garage doors in the building.

The restaurant has seating for 150 people plus additional seating for 60-80 people in the banquet room.

The menu at the restaurant is varied featuring wraps, grilled burritos, nachos, salads, and sandwiches in addition to their specialty wings.

The restaurant also offers catering and has the banquet room available for rent.

“If you buy the food here the rent is free,” Rampe said. “If you bring your own food you can use the banquet room for $100.”

The restaurant opened in December. Slussor said business has been better than he expected.

After enjoying the wings at Smoke-E’s the chamber members had a short walk down Main Street to another new business, Mi Familia Mexican Store and Restaurant. Jose Jiminez and Esmer Jiminez are the co-owners of the business. They spent two years remodeling the building in Leipsic, a former location of a Mexican grocery and restaurant.

“We wanted to keep the tradition going,” said Andy Saenz who helps run the day to day operations. “There has been a Mexican store and restaurant here for years.”

He said the Viking burritos is one of the most popular items on the menu.

“It’s an extra large flour tortilla filled with steak, chicken, rice, beans, cheese, sour cream and pico de gallo,” he said. “I like lots of meat when I eat.”

Other items on the menu feature quesadillas, tostadas, and nacho platters.

The front of the business features grocery-type Mexican foods along with pinatas, hats and other items available for purchase.

Mi Familia & Restaurant opened in October. One of the features of the inside of the business is murals painted on the restaurant walls by artist Oscar Velasquez.

story created on Tuesday 4/15/2014 at 8:30:23 am by Nancy Kline
story modified on Tuesday 4/15/2014 at 8:42:17 pm by Kirk Dougal