Augusta Goodwill-operated restaurant set to open Tuesday

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Goodwill Industries’ newest enterprise will open Tuesday.

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Chef Ian MacDonald creates a sundried tomato pizza with herbed goat cheese and grilled chicken. Each pizza is cooked fresh in a wood fired oven.   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Chef Ian MacDonald creates a sundried tomato pizza with herbed goat cheese and grilled chicken. Each pizza is cooked fresh in a wood fired oven.

Edgar’s Grille, a tapas bar and “New-American” restaurant, opens at 4 p.m. at 3165 Washington Road in Augusta.

“It’s a little bit of Europe meets the South in terms of the presentation,” said Jim Stiff, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA.

The restaurant features a bar and lounge area that can accommodate about 35 diners in addition to a full-dining room and heated courtyard.

Edgar’s Grille and a new conference center opening in March will complete the second phase of Goodwill’s $12 million construction project, which included a retail store, Job Connection office, cafe and culinary training college.

A staff of 35 personnel, including chefs Marcel Biro and Ian MacDonald, have been hired to operate the restaurant, which will also serve as a hands-on learning opportunity for Helms College culinary students once they’ve completed most of their two-year education.

The menu offers several tapas that range from lamb chops to fried green tomatoes and entrees, such as Carolina shrimp and grits and buttermilk fried chicken. Food served at the restaurant will be suppled from local vendors, Stiff said.

Edgar’s Grille is named for Goodwill Industries founder Edgar Helms.

Though details for a third phase are scant, plans include developing a health care school, Stiff said.

A satellite campus for Helms College and cafe is planned on Pine Log Road in Aiken County, where a Goodwill retail store and Job Connection site already exist. Fundraising for that project could begin later this year and the 7,000-square-foot facility is slated to open by the end of 2014, Stiff said.

Stiff envisions that after students have obtained their associates degrees at Helms College, they’ll help boost the local economy through the food and beverage industry.

“Many of them will want to stay in the community and help to infuse new businesses in the community” he said.

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walrus4ever 02/12/13 - 04:15 pm
Im all for Goodwill in their

Im all for Goodwill in their history of good works BUT this raises some questions. If they are a tax exempt non-profit organization will this give them a financial advantage over their neighboring food and drink businesses. Do they have to purchase a pouring license? Is it appropriate to sell alcohol to raise money to combat social problems often the result of alcohol dependency? I would like to hear comments from folks who have a better insight into this situation than I might.

Jake 02/12/13 - 11:39 pm

Sounds like good eating to me and I will let it go at that.

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