8165 Airport Hwy, Holland, OH
I was so excited to see a new restaurant had opened in place of the now closed Bobby V’s on Airport and Albon Roads. I loved Bobby V’s and the friendships I had developed with everyone there. I was sad to see it close. There are not many restaurants out that direction, which is very close to my home. So part of me was really hoping the kids and I would enjoy the new place.
Sometimes, it just takes a few tries
In the 12 years I have resided in the Holland area, the building at Airport and Albon has been the home to four restaurants; Bleu Smoke recently debuting as the fifth in early September. With the opening of Glass City Athletics and soon Skyzone just across the street, their timing and location couldn’t have been more perfect.
Owners Chris Zdunski, Brian Ruff, and Charles Kema possess a great deal of restaurant management and culinary skill, making quite a trio to get a new place off the ground. “We all have a very strong culinary background,” said Chris. “I have been wanting to do this for a long time.” Zdunski spent years traveling the country opening restaurants for large chains.
Wonderful service and family friendly
After spending years in the service industry, I quickly learned it’s a no-brainer to understand people can purchase your product or service anywhere. It’s customer service that will make or break you. My kids and I stopped in Bleu Smoke Bar & Grill for the first time on a recent Thursday evening. I immediately felt like they were sincerely happy to see us and couldn’t wait to give us a great dining experience.
After seating us, the greeter, Brian, brought over crayons and coloring books for my sons. They may no longer be toddlers, but things are a bit more pleasant when they are kept occupied. We enjoyed their complementary Blue Cheese Balls (their version of the hush puppy) with their house made sweet and sour sauce. We also loved their Reuben egg rolls for an appetizer.
They offer a wide variety on the menu with even more items to come, according to Zdunski. If you are in the mood for just soup and salad or a sandwich, you’ll find several to choose from. However, entrees include things such as the goat cheese and herb stuffed chicken that I enjoyed with two sides for $11.99, chicken alfredo, or what Zdunski says is a house favorite, the 10-ounce center cut sirloin topped with their special sweet bleu cheese and bacon mix then crusted in the broiler.
The kiddos can enjoy four choices on the kids menu for $3.99 or $4.99 and they get a choice of a drink and side. The mac and cheese was outstanding, and my youngest son enjoyed the grilled cheese and house fries. A ham and cheese melt and chicken tenders are additional options.
My daughter loved the M.T.B. Squared sandwich that was grilled like a panini and had thick sliced mozzarella, grilled tomato and fresh basil. Kema sent us home with a complimentary slice of fabulous homemade cheesecake, ensuring we left as happy customers. I can see the kids and me becoming regulars in no time.
The Short Course
To avoid wait Anytime
Noise level Moderate
Bathroom amenities No changing station
High chairs Yes
Got milk Yes, as well as orange juice, cranberry juice, and lemonade
Kids’ menu Yes
Karen Zickes is a mom of three active children and freelance writer who resides in Holland, OH. She can be reached in c/o firstname.lastname@example.org.