Published: 12:00 AM, Wed April, 10 2019
Riser Tavern & Grill
1135 Western Reserve Road, Youngstown
In the Sparkle Plaza
Offer valid April 10-16, 2019
Open Daily at 11 a.m.
Wings, sandwiches, specialty dishes
Watch our interview with Riser co-owners Mark Taylor and Lisa Lorelli on vindy.com/valleyfood
1/2 OFF VOUCHER FOR SPREAD EAGLE TAVERN & INN.
By Corey Crisan
In Partnership with 21 WFMJ-TV
BEAVER TWP. – Tucked away in a small plaza on Western Reserve Road is a cozy confine that is still earning its stripes. Riser Tavern & Grill is still relatively new to the Mahoning Valley restaurant scene. Established by Mark Taylor and Lisa Lorelli in 2016, Riser is assimilating itself as its own brand throughout the valley.
Riser takes on a theme that promotes coziness by nature. The restaurant itself is not the most spacious, but that does not hinder its ability to think big. Big, as in the “Great White North,” as its unique theme.
“I thought it was original to this area,” Riser co-owner Mark Taylor said. “A lot of people hunt and fish, and we spend a lot of time up North. … There’s not many places in this area that has this kind of decor.”
Taylor says his family has frequented the North Bay, Ontario, area for over 30 years.
“You look at the stone and everything, and it’s very comfortable,” Taylor said. “It’s got a lodge-y feel to it. Most people come in and are amazed at how pretty the bar is.”
The bar itself, along with the tables, were custom-made locally for Riser. A stone fireplace with a buck mounted above completes the northern aesthetic that Riser aims for.
Riser’s top food item is “confit” wings. Confit, pronounced con-fee, is a slow-cooking process that nets a more tender product. The result when applied to chicken is a wing where the meat literally falls off the bone.
“They were brought here when we originally opened by our original chef,” Riser co-owner Lisa Lorelli said. “They’re a hit. Everybody loves the wings.”
Lorelli gave high praise to her kitchen staff for unique creations across the board.
“We have really unique dishes on the menu, like a peach and tomato salad and a chicken salad with a blueberry barbecue sauce,” Lorelli noted. “Every week we have a new vegan option that’s out-of-the-ballpark good.”
Riser is located in the Sparkle plaza on Western Reserve Road. Having the ability to share a large parking lot has benefited the business during the warmer seasons.
“We do a lot of tent parties,” Taylor said. “We put a tent in a parking lot, and it’s been a big success. We put live bands and we have local breweries come in. People come by for it. We could barely walk back-and-forth from the tent to the bar.”
Part of their campaign to attract an audience lies within its weekly events, like trivia night, live bands, and, most popularly, bingo night.
“Bingo is a hit,” Lorelli said. “We get packed for bingo.”
Taylor added, “It has really taken off.”
As it enters its third full year, Riser is still growing its base of regulars.
“We’re still new to the area,” Taylor commented. “It’s amazing how many first-time visitors we get, still, after two and a half years.”
“We’re really catching on,” Lorelli added. “This year has been a great year so far. [The word] is spreading.”
Riser is open at 11 a.m. daily. For the full menu and to place an order, visit risertavern.com.