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Jalilis shift plans for Chops restaurant

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Last edited 8:42 a.m., Dec. 4, 2018

As the Jalili family of restaurateurs prepare to convert Touch Restaurant & Oyster House into a new venture, their plans for Chops in nearby Galloway Village have been scrapped.

Mike Jalili, co-owner of the family’s restaurant businesses, said the planned Chops boutique steakhouse at the Galloway Creek development, 3938 S. Lone Pine Ave., was canceled over cost concerns.

“Financially, it was just way too expensive for a 4,500-square-foot building with no party rooms,” he said. “It was getting really expensive just for the infill.”

The Jalilis’ Galloway Village plans for Chops had been in the works for years. The restaurant was put on hold in 2016 as the family focused on expanding its Black Sheep Burgers and Shakes concept, and it was announced again the following year when construction of Galloway Creek began, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.

The Jalilis also had been co-owners of Galloway Creek Development Group, but Mike Jalili said the family sold their stake in the project three months ago for undisclosed terms to Brent Brown and silent partners involved in the $7.7 million, 46,372-square-foot mixed-use center. Jalili said the family originally owned the land before becoming involved in the development plans. Galloway Creek Development Group is listed as the land owner in Greene County assessor records.

Jalili said the restaurant family is shifting the steakhouse model to Touch, which they’re planning to close after New Year’s Eve and reopen after a 12-day remodel as Char Steakhouse & Oyster Bar.

“Touch is not doing bad. My catering and my banquets and my lounge does incredible business,” he said of the 1620 E. Republic Road business. “My dining does OK at Touch, not incredible.”

Jalili currently is developing a menu he hopes will bring “consistency” to Char, which he said would rely less on seasonal items and create a system where the cooking and preparation of food is done the same year-round, even when he’s not there to oversee operations.

“That’s why corporations are so successful is because they’re consistent,” he said. “Consistency is really the bottom line.”

Jalili said Char’s menu would be similar to the family’s Flame Steakhouse downtown, which he said is having its best year in sales. He declined to disclose sales at his restaurants.

“I cannot tell you how many people say, ‘I love Flame but we don’t want to drive downtown,’” he said. “I’m hoping the ones who don’t want to go downtown go to Char.”

In nearby Galloway Village, Jalili said the family isn’t done with plans for the booming area. He said they’re considering a small bar concept that may open in March 2019 at 3830 S. Lone Pine Ave., the site of the former Creek Side Pub that closed in June.


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