Austyn#8217;s opens for business

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mouth-watering aromas waft in the main dining room of the newly opened Austyn’s Restaurant in downtown Ironton.

Contractor Frank Murphy worked on the project in the old train depot for the last seven months and those efforts came to fruition Thursday when the business opened its doors to the public.

“It’s a complete renovation of the entire building,” he said. “We almost gutted it, refurbished the original floors, the original columns and the ceilings. It’s fine dining. There’s nothing in the Tri-State that’s going to match it.”

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Stained grey poplar wood is used throughout the restaurant and railroad companies are depicted in glass art surrounding the main dining room.

Shawn Walker designed the upscale restaurant, and the owner, Yi Chen, used mostly local people to work on the restaurant.

“He wanted to keep everything he could local,” Murphy said.

Chen has been in the restaurant business since 1990 and this is the second Austyn’s with the other one in Marietta. The restaurant is named for his 7-year-old son.

“We named the first one after him right after he was born,” Chen said.

They have homes in Ironton and Marietta and travel back and forth between towns.

“They did a tremendous job in here from what it looked like before they started remodeling,” Chen said. “Hopefully, the people around the area will come down and give us a try.”

Gourmet foods are prepared by a chef who is from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, recognized as one of the world’s top culinary schools.

Appetizers such as steak satay and calamari, salads such as Thai chicken salad and strawberry walnut salad are only a few of the gourmet preparations.

Five different pasta dishes are on the menu such as seafood portafino along with Ocean Lovers and Land Lovers selections for the main entr/e. Austyn’s has its own battered boneless chicken breast and vegetables tossed in a sweet and spicy ginger soy sauce.

“We specialize in steaks, fresh seafood, pasta, some international cuisine,” Chen said. “We even have a couple pizzas on the menu. Everything is gourmet, homemade and everything is made from scratch.”

The pizzas are German gourmet, Thai chicken and Mediterranean, different than most restaurants’ pizzas. The steaks are hand cut and the seafood is fresh, he said.

“What is so unique about this building is not just the seating in the lounge and the dining room, we also have three private meeting rooms for banquets,” he said.

One small banquet room can seat up to 10 people, another room can seat up to 24 people and the largest banquet room seats up to 100 people.

He has already been getting calls to reserve the banquet rooms. All the banquet rooms are high-speed Internet accessible and ready for any type of presentation, he said.

“I know Ironton is very limited on that type of facility, so I think we’ll do real well on the banquets,” Chen said. “I’m happy to be here and I’m looking forward to serving good food to the community, and getting involved with some of the local activities to see what I can do to help the community.”