LIBERTY, Ohio – Upon entering the Landmark Restaurant and Bakery, the aroma of baked goods and breakfast foods immediately fills the air.
Located at 1472 Churchill-Hubbard Road, the restaurant has already lived up to its namesake in the month it opened.
“It’s amazing. Absolutely amazing. We see the same faces day after day,” said Matt Savon, co-owner of the new Liberty site as well as the Meridian Road spot in Youngstown. stop often.” Every part of this community has been awesome,” he said.
Residents, elected officials and first responders from Liberty and surrounding communities are among the regulars Savon has seen at the restaurant since it soft-opened earlier this month. Some of those people joined Savon, co-owners Raphe Neapolitan and general manager Brian Berendt, and friends and family for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning.
The Landmark in Liberty came into existence after Berendt stumbled upon the empty building on Churchill-Hubbard Road.
“The building was for sale for a while. No one wanted it and it was auctioned off” last year, Napolitan said. After buying it for around $100,000, another $60,000 was needed to renovate the space.
The Landmark in Liberty should not be confused with Boardman’s former location, Savon explained.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the owners of the restaurant at 7412 Market St. were looking to retire. Savon and Napolitan were interested in buying the Boardman and Youngstown locations, they said. However, in January 2021, Combine Brothers bought the Boardman space.
The Meridian Road restaurant has been around for 20 years, but Savon and Napolitan have owned it for just over a year, Savon said. Much of the work was made possible not only by community support, but also by Berendt. In March 2021, the owners cut the ribbon here and returned the restaurant’s popular donuts to its case of baked goods.
Savon calls Berendt “the face of the Landmark”, saying that people often go to restaurants because of the cook or the chef. This is the case of the Landmark. “People know when he’s there,” Savon said.
Berendt worked with the entire staff — about 15 at Youngstown and 10 at Liberty — to ensure customers had a great experience, Savon said. “We are obsessed with quality and cleanliness. Brian made sure everyone did the same in the kitchen, even when he wasn’t there,” Savon said.
In addition to the tantalizing smells, the Liberty Landmark feels like it’s been a lifelong community staple.
Decorated with local posters celebrating Idora Park and other local landmarks, there’s a steady stream of people already with their regular orders, greeted by waiters.
“What helps us locally, we have a lot of help from the community,” Savon said.
The Landmark in Liberty is closed on Mondays and hours are shortened. Once more people are hired, the hours can be extended.
“It shows the community support we’ve received so far, how willing everyone is to help us and let people know we’re here,” it means a lot to the Landmark team, said Soap.
Pictured: Behind the donut case at the Landmark in Liberty are longtime friends and co-owners Matt Savon and Raphe Neapolitan.
Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.