"We have the same chef as before," server Wendy Kohlhoff tells me, "and most all of us quit our jobs to join Leland again. It might be Ranch House Grille to our customers, but it's Ranch House Home to us."
Kohlhoff is speaking of last week's re-opening of Ranch House Grille in east Phoenix after nearly a year-and-a-half of post-disaster rebuilding. In November 2010, the neighborhood breakfast and lunch spot ran by Leland Cline, (son of Ranch House Grille founders Phil and Maryjane Cline) along with other stores in its strip mall home on Thomas Road, was the casualty of a fire. And although the flames didn't make it to all of the spaces in the strip mall, the smoke did, causing extensive damage and the need to gut the building and start anew.
And Kohlhoff tells me the post-fire Ranch House Grille has some new things in store for its guests.
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Along with a more open interior and new decor updates to make guests feel right at home (again), Kohlhoff tells me the Ranch House Grille menu will now include chicken and waffles and, for those wanting a less gut-busting meal, granola with yogurt and fruit.
Although a grand opening proper is in the works, Kohlhoff says Ranch House Grille customers are already hearing the news of the restaurant's re-opening.
"We had a waiting list yesterday," she says. "A lot of regulars are returning and they haven't forgotten about us."