Owners of the new Up Your Alley Chop House in Aiken have added their own flair to an old establishment.
Brothers Dr. Philip Jordan and Jeff Jordan, Janice Rodriguez and chef Keith Herron are revamping the vacant restaurant space at 222 The Alley that once housed Up Your Alley and have set a grand-opening date of Sept. 6, said Rodriguez, a partner and the general manager of the restaurant.
Up Your Alley, open for nearly 30 years, closed two years ago, and the group decided to honor the “iconic” eatery by keeping its name, Rodriguez said.
The 5,000-square-foot restaurant can accommodate about 120 diners indoors and outside on the porch. Two full-service bars will be in the dining area, and a third could be added outdoors in the future, Rodriguez said.
The restaurant will open with 35 employees.
The new chophouse will remain open for lunch and dinner. During the day, the menu will offer traditional lunch staples such as salads, sandwiches, wings and burgers, but by night, the restaurant will specialize in steaks and seafood, Rodriguez said.
“We will have an outside, on-the-porch, raw oyster bar in season,” she said.
The restaurant will serve as many locally grown items as possible, Rodriguez added.
“Our hopes and vision is to go as local as we can,” she said. “Our plans are fresh and local.”
Renovations began inside the historic building in June, and although the project was an entire gut job, Rodriguez said, the owners ensured the property’s quaint touches, such as stained-glass windows and original wood and brick features, were restored but kept intact.
“It is really a beautiful place,” Rodriguez said. “There’s no way you could go out and build a place like this.”
Rodriguez, who moved to Aiken last year from New Jersey, spent 19 years working in a high-rise casino in Atlantic City. Herron has worked in the Aiken Brewing Co., the Reserve Club at Woodside Plantation and Houndslake Country Club. Philip Jordan, an Aiken chiropractor, and Jeff Jordan, an owner of Jordan Signature Automotive in Aiken, also have experience in the food and beverage industry, Rodriguez said.