Ownership of The Snug restaurant in Augusta has changed from one family to another.
The Bentley family sold the 20-year-old steakhouse and grill at 240 Davis Road to Tom Sparks and his wife, Christine Grove.
“I know that a lot of their customers will be sad to see them go, but we’re going to try to carry on the tradition – just adding a bit of our own changes,” Sparks said.
The restaurant has always been a special place for Sparks and his wife, who went on their first date there in 1998.
“We really loved the place from the first time we went there to eat,” Sparks said. “The food was good. The atmosphere was nice. We had been trying for several years to get the money together to buy it, and we were finally able to this past year.”
Starting last week, the restaurant opened for lunch, and adjustments to the menu, including new dishes and lower prices, have been made, he said.
“We like that it’s a little bit upscale, but we want it to be open and available to everybody,” Sparks said.
There is a business – Bentley Brothers Vapor Co. – attached to The Snug, but it will relocate to the Fairway Square shopping center by early October.
Sparks expects to use the 2,000-square-foot space for a bakery and catering services. He said they’ll likely hire a few more employees once that business is operating.
Sparks said he also wants to add a private dining room in the 8,000-square-foot building.
Retired from the Air Force and National Security Agency, Sparks said he and his wife will work behind the scenes at The Snug. His son Damon Sparks and nephew Jack Daniel, both of whom have experience in the food and beverage industry, will be the face of the restaurant.
Other children and family members also will help out, Sparks said.
From 1992 until this year, several members of the Bentley family operated The Snug Steak & Grill and likened it to Cheers, according to a 2010 Chronicle story. The restaurant specialized in steak, but also served seafood, prime rib, salads and burgers.