North Texas Daily

Sweetwater Grill and Tavern changes owners

Sweetwater Grill and Tavern changes owners

April 08
10:05 2014

Javier Navarro // Staff Writer

New ownership will bring some changes and temporarily close the Sweetwater Grill and Tavern restaurant for a few months until a mid-summer reopening.

Local Denton couple Rick and Ryann Reid officially bought the property two weeks ago and plan on renovating the buildings as well as adding and extending areas. As of last Thursday, the pair began cleaning and moving furniture and appliances out of the restaurant.

“Both Rick and I have always loved this place,” Ryann Reid, 36, said. “He’s been coming here for 13 years and I’ve been coming here probably at least 10 [years]. We love the place and it’s a great location.”

Some of the plans include cosmetic changes to the inside, redoing the restrooms and putting a bar in what used to be called “The Hub Room,” which will now be named “The Walnut Street Annex.”

“You’ll be able to access [the bar] off of Walnut St. that will not only serve as a permanent bar area, but as overflow if we ever go into a wait,” Ryann Reid said.

The menu will go through some changes as well. It will include original recipes such as roasted vegetable enchiladas, in-house made fried goat cheese and a signature burger. Ryann Reid also said the menu will still be a “southwestern-style menu” and some customer favorites will return.

“We’re still going to serve the ceviche [appetizer] and going to continue with the shrimp and bacon sandwich,” Ryann Reid said. “We’ll also still serve meatloaf and enchiladas, but it’ll be our recipes.”

The new head chef of the restaurant Scott Girling added that they would also be keeping the crawfish and the prime rib dishes.

Sweetwater will still be a music venue for jazz, Ryann Reid said. Although she said a schedule isn’t set in stone yet, they are considering holding the jazz acts every Tuesday and featuring acoustic acts on Fridays.

“We know [jazz has] been a staple for Sweetwater for years,” Ryann Reid said. “We also want to do some acoustic acts in the Walnut St. Annex weekly. We’re going to treat it as a different area, so we want to feature a different kind of music acts there.”

The Reids also knew the previous owners Jimmy and Karen Meredith for years before they bought the restaurant.

“Jimmy and Karen had talked to us about retiring for quite a while,” Ryann Reid said. “We’ve been friends [for years] and this was a natural fit for us.”

The deal was finalized and sold to the Reid couple two weeks ago. Ryann Reid declined to comment on how much the business and renovations will cost, saying “that is information that we choose not to disclose to anyone.”

Girling has known Rick Reid for more than 10 years. He said Rick Reid offered him the job as head chef six months ago and added that he is excited about his new job.

“I’m looking forward to bringing Sweetwater back to what it used to be,” Girling said. “When I moved out here this was the place to go, especially during the summer.”

Sweetwater held many memories for customers with some saying they were sad to see the restaurant go on the restaurant’s Facebook post on March 16.

“Thanks for the cold drinks, warm atmosphere and always good food and a place to meet great friends,” A customer posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page on March 16. “Hope the new owners keep the tradition alive.”

The next step is getting the floors done and getting construction to begin in the next couple of weeks, Ryann Reid said.

With this being the first time the Reids own a business together, Ryann Reid said she is excited for the new venture.

“I’m excited for everybody to see all of the new changes and to understand that Rick and I care just as much about Sweetwater as other people do,” Ryann Reid said. “The restaurant side is a new thing for both of us and we’re excited to see how it turns out.”

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