By Hiroko Sato
GROTON — A month and a half after the state Department of Revenue shut down Oliver’s Grille & Pub for unpaid meals taxes, the restaurant has reopened.
Its owners hope their juicy steak tips and fresh lobster rolls will keep the business more than afloat this time around.
Oliver’s, an eight-year-old establishment at 765 Boston Road, reopened its doors last week. In mid-July, the business suddenly closed with a bright orange sign on the window carrying the word, “Seized.” It was due to $36,791 in unpaid meals taxes the restaurant owed to the state, DOR spokesman Robert Bliss said at the time.
Confiscated items included the cash register, kitchen equipment and the liquor license. Bliss had said the restaurant owner, Russell Kimball, could get the key back if he came up with a payment plan over the following two weeks. Kimball said that he and his sister, Cheryl Hryniewich, with whom he runs the restaurant, are working to make payments.
“We are trying to build our way back into it,” Kimball said.
The DOR has given them back previously seized items, including the liquor license, Hryniewich said. The restaurant has a food-service permit valid through Oct. 31 and the reopening of the business did not require any additional permit or process, said town Land Use Director Michelle Collette. There is also no process that one has to go through when reclaiming a liquor license, according to the town manager’s office.
Kimball and Hryniewich come from a long line of cooks. Their parents owned a restaurant called Depot Square in Littleton. Their mother also used to work at Monarch Diner in Littleton as a pastry chef, said Kimball, who has worked in a restaurant since age 13. After making a career in the computer industry working as a design manager, Kimball, who lives in Littleton, jumped back into the food business and opened Oliver’s.
The restaurant serves typical “American fare,” Kimball said. Kimball plans to do “fish and fries” on Friday nights and sirloin tops on another night each week. There will be lobster rolls and other seafood entrees.
Hryniewich, who lives in Acton, said the restaurant prepares all dishes from scratch and takes pride in the freshness of the food.
“We are more of an older way of eating,” compared to chain restaurants, Hryniewich said.