A popular Portage eatery, which has been closed since January, has found new ownership – and new life.
Sassy Sisters Restaurant, along Caldwell Avenue, is set to re-open in January.
Bryan Feist, a former Cambria County Emergency Services worker, bought the location from former owners Cathy Sossong and Joan Oshaben.
“The community can’t wait for it to come back,” Feist said, adding that Sossong and Oshaben, who had decided to retire from food service and close up shop, will be helping him get it back on its feet.
“We’re basically keeping the menu almost exactly the same. It’s a family-style restaurant,” he said. That means hot sandwiches, liver and onions, and Friday fish specials.
“That’s what people liked and that’s what we’re going to keep,” Feist said.
He said he’s never owned a restaurant before, but has partnered with his wife, Janet, who he said has some food service experience. And, after 32 years of emergency response and working with people who are in “dire” situations, he said the change of pace is nice.
“The case here, when you’re cooking food for people and you have a restaurant, it’s more of a comforting thing,” he said. “My wife and I decided it was a good fit. We had a chance to buy a business that was successful.
“It’s kind of like we’re entering into a family.”
Former Sassy Sisters employees will be reuniting, according to Feist. He said he’s been meeting with them over the past few weeks and most will be returning.
Interior renovations are wrapping up, according to Feist – including some fresh paint.
“We’re working on sprucing the place up and general cleaning,” he said. “We’re looking tenatively at (opening) Jan. 8.”
Justin Dennis covers Portage Borough for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/JustinDennis.