Eli’s Southern Comfort Food has opened inside J.D. Legends Entertainment Complex in Franklin, and will host a grand opening April 3-7. Photo by Jeff Zaret

New Eli’s Southern Comfort Food to host grand opening next week

“We completely gutted the prior restaurant, renovated the kitchen, stained the floor, and added new furniture and a garage door that opens towards the (bowling) lanes,” co-owner Wasfi Samaan said.

The new restaurant features home-style, from-scratch cooking, with items prepared daily, Samaan said. Signature items from the Eli’s menu include Kentucky Hot Brown, Brisket Sandwich, Homemade Meatloaf and Beer Brined Pork Chops.

The Beer-Brined Pork Chop at Eli’s Southern Comfort Food. Photo by Jeff Zaret
Photo: Staff Writer

The traditional J.D. Legends menu is still available to diners on the patio or in the sports bar portion of the entertainment complex, Samaan said.

Customer response to the new restaurant’s soft opening “has been amazing, especially to the food,” Samaan said. “People keep coming back and ordering what they had before.”

Samaan — who lived in Kentucky for 34 years before coming to Ohio — said Eli’s also boasts a strong bourbon selection. The new restaurant is named for Samaan’s late brother Eli, and is co-owned by Samaan’s nephew, Charlie Samaan.

RELATED: Franklin entertainment venue expanding (April 2015)

The restaurant renovation is part of a broader facelift that is still underway at J.D. Legends in advance of patio season. Crews are now working to refresh the exterior of the entertainment complex, which is a concert venue, bowling alley, tiki bar, restaurant, sports bar and sand volleyball destination. Samaan said the renovations represent a $50,000-to-$75,000 investment into the facility.

And that investment goes beyond physical improvements. With the opening of the new restaurant, the entertainment complex hired an additional 15 employees, bringing total employment at J.D. Legends and Eli’s to 50, Samaan said.

From Monday, April 3, through Friday, April 7, the Eli’s grand opening will include special offers such as a free appetizer with the purchase of two sandwiches at lunch, and free soup or dessert with any entree purchase at dinner. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 5, there will be live music with saxophone player Eddie Osborne.

Happy hour is on weekdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and includes special prices on drinks and beers, as well as half-price appetizers.

Eli’s Southern Comfort Food’s hours are Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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