After a long two years of planning, hard work, and then jumping over COVID-sized hurdles, Sylvania's landmark bar & grill reopens for business on Thursday May 28, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.
The V.I. Sylvania, Serving Cameo Pizza had a "soft opening on Tuesday night, a ribbon cutting Wednesday afternoon, and then the big opening is on Thursday.
"I am super excited," said co-owner Jeremy Fitzgerald. "I've gotten to know a lot of Sylvania people and history, and I am looking forward to supporting the schools and community."
Over recent months, residents who are also very excited about their old watering-hole reopening have been stopping by and dropping off photos and memorabilia. The inside of the newly-remodeled roadhouse now resembles an ode to Sylvania high schools, past and present. (see a sampling of V.I.'s wall decorations below)
The V.I. Serving Cameo Pizza will be a delight to those who enjoy local history, and not just because of the old black & white photos and trophies. Cameo Pizza itself has a rich history, dating back to 1939 in Sandusky.
"It's a family recipe, handed down for generations," explained Fitzgerald.
The pizza has even won awards here in Sylvania, at the 2019 Pizza Palooza. Fitzgerald and his partners own Bar 145 and Reset in Toledo and Rossford, where they also serve up Cameo Pizza, and they entered Pizza Palooza last year. Cameo pizza was awarded second place for their thick crust pepperoni pizza and sweet fire specialty pizza.
As the V.I. reopens, it will employ about forty people. Bartenders, servers, and hostesses will be circulating throughout the restaurant and patio to help customers with the new social-distancing guidelines. COVID safety signs are posted all throughout the restaurant and patio.
The V.I. will be open 4:00 p.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday, and 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Friday and Saturdays. Plans are in the works to open for lunch also.
"I am glad I could restore a piece of Sylvania," Fitzgerald said. "And we definitely look forward to more high school reunions here too." Fitzgerald and co-owners Andy Grombacher and George Simon are all current Sylvania residents.
Follow the new V.I. on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thevisylvania
Visit the V. I. official web site: www.thevisylvania.com
Sylvania Township Trustee John Jennewine stopped in to offer well-wishes to the new V.I. and got a tour through the hallowed halls.
The V.I. bar is decorated with Sylvania high school yearbook ads.
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New in 2020:
2020 Sylvania Edition (Book)
Foreword by Gordon Ward
Celebrating the rich history of Sylvania, Ohio