Former Damon's franchisee Sergio Beyazian opens up Yukon on Grace Drive.

A restaurant veteran has returned to the industry, bringing steaks, chops and ribs back to Powell.

Sergio Beyazian, a former Damon's franchisee and then owner of the Montana Mining Co. in Pickerington, has recently opened the Yukon Steakhouse & Saloon, which has taken over the former Hickory House site, 240 N. Liberty St. For a short time it was Olde Hickory, which recently closed.

Beyazian said he did a makeover of the space, laying new carpet, slapping on a fresh coat of paint and installing new booths in the 5,800-square-foto space, which seats 180 in the dining room and 25 at the bar. In a strip center about a mile north of the busy four-corners intersection, the restaurant will focus on the fundamentals, he said.

"You've got to make it with great food and service," he said.

He has hired chef Joshua Wagner, formerly of Whole Foods and Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, to run the kitchen. Wagner said the menu offers certified Black Angus beef, which comes in a variety of preparations, plus chops and seafood. The two signature dishes are the prime rib, rubbed with a soy-based marinade and cooked at 250 degrees for 2 1/2 hours, and the ribs, which use an award-winning sauce that features more than a dozen ingredients and takes about four hours to reduce.

The lounge area, well separated from the dining room, is still a casual place where locals can watch football, Beyazian said.

Beyazian learned the restaurant business from top to bottom when his stepfather, Gene Simonetti, owned the vastly popular Damon's at the Continent.

He started as a busboy at age 14 and held virtually every position in the kitchen and front of the house before he was made general manager. He then was transferred to a store in St. Louis, eventually becoming regional manager. He opened a store in Toledo before selling back to the company four years later.

Then came the Montana Mining Co., which didn't survive a lengthy road-construction process in the area, he said.

He tried a few other ventures in the meantime but the restaurant business beckoned.

"I would have done it sooner but with a lot of the locations the rents were really scary," he said.

The restaurant is open for dinner only six days a week and lunch and dinner on Sunday. For more information, call 614-441-4400.


In other news from Powell, Windy City BBQ Ribs has opened at 22 Grace Drive.

Walk-in customers can sup on sandwiches, ribs, sides, salads and desserts, but most of the business is catering, either to corporate clients or families, both of whom are asked to place orders at least 24 hours in advance, said Syndi Anderson, who is helping run the place, owned by Victor Martin. Meats, sold by the pound, cost between $10.95 and $14.95. Ribs come in three sizes: $12.95, $19.95 and $24.95 for the "super slab."

She said the place features organic meats, fruits and vegetables. The idea behind Windy City is freshness: No leftovers are served the next day, Anderson said. And when the food runs out for the day, the place closes.

All meats and poultry are smoked on premises, using hickory or mesquite woods.

Windy City is open dinner hours Tuesday through Sunday, closed Monday. For more information, call 614-805-6812.


Babushka Foods, a restaurant with a classic Polish menu, will open around the first of January in the vacant Scottie MacBean site, 4675 N. High St. in Clintonville. It will be the third Babushka's in the Buckeye State. The original store is located in Northfield Center, while another location has opened in Independence.