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12:40 AM Fri, Sept. 21st

Chew on This: Fireside Grill brings first-class fare to Prescott Valley

Diana Clemens, Jenny McIntyre, Juli Glover, Karla Young and Mary Ownes enjoy a birthday lunch on the patio at the Fireside Grill in Prescott Valley Wednesday afternoon.<br>
Photo courtesy Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier

Diana Clemens, Jenny McIntyre, Juli Glover, Karla Young and Mary Ownes enjoy a birthday lunch on the patio at the Fireside Grill in Prescott Valley Wednesday afternoon.<br> Photo courtesy Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier

Two experienced restaurant hands and a retired firefighter with no previous restaurant experience said they opened Fireside Grill nearly two years ago because Prescott Valley needed a good restaurant.

And while Fireside Grill draws a luncheon crowd of civic leaders and business people, it packs patrons from all walks of life, said Kevin Leffler, who owns the restaurant with John Garrett and Dan McGeary.

"It fits in everybody's pocketbook," Leffler said. "It is comparable (in price) to any place around."

Fireside Grill also appeals to families, Meetup.com groups, wedding parties and other patrons, the owners said. Some patrons dine at Fireside Grill before or after seeing a movie a short walk away at the Harkins cinemas.

The owners toyed with naming the place, McGeary said, adding the "fireside chats" of the President Franklin Delano Roosevelt inspired the name.

"Fireside just fit," he said.

McGeary, a retired firefighter in the Detroit suburb of Clinton Township in Michigan for 25 years, is the only owner with no previous restaurant experience.

"I retired and moved out here and basically just spent five years in retirement, trying to play golf and ride motorcycles," McGeary said. "Due to some changes in my life, I knew I had to get involved in something."

McGeary said he befriended Leffler about seven years ago when Leffler owned Leff-T's Steakhouse in Prescott Valley.

Both Leffler and Garrett have worked in the restaurant field for more than 20 years.

Leffler and Garrett have known each other about nine years and worked together at Leff-T's, which Leffler no longer owns.

Garrett said he enjoys his new business venture because something new happens each day.

"Creativity is nice," he said. "You get to come up with new menu items, new recipes."

Garrett said he also draws satisfaction when customers are pleased with a meal.

Fireside Grill does not serve frozen food, and will cook meals to order, the owners said.

If an item is not on the menu, Garrett said, "We will do our best to make it. If someone asks for shrimp scampi, we will make it for them."

Fireside Grill also does outside catering jobs, and is working on one job for feeding 800 people, Garrett said.

The Menu

Fireside Grill offers a wide selection of appetizers; soups and salads; a seasonal menu; pasta, seafood and steaks; and sandwiches.

Appetizers range in price from $7 to $9.

Soups and salads range in price from $4 for a cup or side salad to $14 for a smoked salmon salad.

The seasonal menu ranges in price from $10 for a patty melt to $15 for trottole Bolognese and shrimp diavolo.

The pasta, seafood and steaks menu ranges in price from $12 for a chicken pot pie with a house salad to $22 for a rib-eye steak and New York strip steak - both 12 ounces.

The sandwich menu items cost anywhere from $8 for chili verde tacos to $15 for lobster tacos.

One of the more popular entrees is baby-back pork ribs, Garrett said.

"We make it in house," he said. "We dry-rub them" with herbs and seasoning. "We smoke them in house. We serve barbecue sauce on the side."