New owners have taken over Heroes American Grille in Weaver and will be reopening its doors to the public in the months to come.
Ken and Melinda McElroy, owners of the Brew N’ Vape store adjacent to Heroes, have taken over the restaurant and plan to modernize their new establishment. Former owner Marc Spaulding said earlier this month he had to step back from the business due to health reasons, but the McElroys plan to keep his vision alive.
“I want Heroes to be the same staple of the community and the place to be on the north end of the county; I think that’s really important,” said Ken McElroy. “It is a family-owned business because it’s me and my wife running it.”
McElroy says he is sticking with the original public safety and military theme of the restaurant because it matches his background. He is ex-military, a former Anniston police officer, has 25 years in Anniston EMS and has a son who is active duty in the Army.
“Public safety is in my blood. I think it’s important that we have an establishment that continues to mirror that,” he said.
McElroy has always had an interest in owning a venue like Heroes, and was excited when the opportunity presented itself to purchase a store connected to his own. Weaver Mayor Wayne Willis shared in the excitement of Heroes reopening since he’s known the new owner for 25 years.
“I’m looking forward to him sprucing up the place, with fresh paint and getting out a lot of the clutter that was in there,” he said. “He’s going to bring in new tables, chairs and booths. He’s bringing in new appliances and culling out some of the things that weren’t great sellers.”
McElroy pointed out that he will be keeping certain items that have always been fan favorites, but he does plan to put his own spin on them. He’s even bringing in a chef to help revamp the menu, train the staff and cook a few nights a week.
“A lot of people would be heartbroken if I killed the wings or boom-boom shrimp and I’m not going to do that,” he noted. “The biggest changes that are important to me is a modernization of how the restaurant operates.”
The new owner plans on having a soft opening for only selected guests sometime in January to show the differences between the old and new Heroes, but also to work out any kinks in the new establishment’s procedures.
“It will be a closed event where we can test the servers, in-house systems and cook staff,” he said. “If we’re going to make mistakes, I’d like it to be with that group before we open to the public.”
McElroy said he’d like to open on New Year’s, but no date is set in stone yet. He still has a lot of work left to do on the inside, including securing a liquor license and a permit from the Health Department.
“A typical business can make adjustments as they go, but in this case, the old owner closed and I’m reopening, so I have to do the full permitting process up front,” he said.