Night Owls

By Candace Nelson - 2:01 PM

The outside of the building during day.
If you drive along University Avenue downtown, you might haven taken noticed that the Rusted Musket area has been shaken up a little. On the end, where a convenience store was most recently located, is where Rusted Musket currently resides. Where Rusted Musket took up camp, there's now a head shop. And at the end, which once housed The Original Dish and Shiftace, is the new home of Night Owls.

Considering its Sunnyside location and old building, you can image what kind of establishment Night Owls is. The good thing is that there is a large parking area right beside the restaurant that is free after 7 p.m. Driving past that unit, I saw every window frame was written in with those window chalk things, saying "Comfort Food" and "Open Late" and all sorts of things. But about a week ago, I noticed the door had a handmade sign that said "Open!"

Walking inside, the first thing I noticed was that the door doesn't close all the way. Not really the best sign. There are some small tables in the center and off to the right is a bar area. The lights are sweet looking, but everything else mostly looks handmade, and not in the labor-intensive way. Behind the bar area was a wall written on with chalk about a ton of their menu items. It's not easy to read, though, so I took up a menu (one of two that we saw at the bar) and browsed the options.

A few minutes later, the owner finally walked out and was happy to see us. We were the only two inside. She kept asking us if we were on our way to the bar or on our way back from the bar, and it kind of made us feel awkward - we just wanted to get some grub. After asking us if we were on our way to the bar, from the bar, if we plan on going to the bar later, if we plan on going to the bar tomorrow, I asked her what's good. She said she makes everything homemade, but she just made some meatballs, which are good.

I ordered the meatball hoagie, and my friend ordered the spaghetti with meatballs. After a little while, the owner came out with two plates - like actual china. The first thing I noticed was that my sandwich was SMALL. Maybe four inches. And I got some Lays potato chips on the side. And it was $6! My friend, however, got a huge plate of spaghetti, with the meatballs, as well as a side of bread, for $4. What?

I must say, the meatballs were good. Well-seasoned and made with some Italian sausage. I found out the owner had a catering business in Preston County, so it doesn't surprise me that the food here is tasty. She asked if I wanted the pickle after she brought out my food. She said it comes with it, but she left it off because most people don't want it ... I wasn't gonna make her go back and grab a pickle, but it's probably better to include rather than not. She asked our honest opinion, and I told her, my food is great, but I feel gypped on portion/price. She said usually they have bigger buns, but they ran out. So that would help.

On the door outside, it said they had fresh baked cookies daily, so I asked, and she said she didn't have any that day. Guess "daily" is subjective. She did bring us a cinnamon roll on the house, though. And it was really good, too. Topped with icing and combining a cinnamon sweetness felt like a little piece of Christmas.

I asked if it was cash only, because it looks as though it is. She said yes. Luckily I had some ones on me for parking, so I handed them over. The owner looked over the menu and says "$6 for a meatball sub? I never charge that much. I'll make yours the same price as hers." So my whole meal turned out to be around $8.

Overall feel is that it's mismatched, half-baked, but with good food. But portions and consistency need to improve, because no one's gonna pay $6 for a tiny meatball sandwich. It wasn't the cleanest, as random brooms and construction stuff was laying around, probably because they just opened. I know they're going for a "restaurant after a night of drinking" motif here, but some polish and shining would be nice.

Night Owls on Urbanspoon
Grade: C

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  1. That location is restaurant kryptonite. Other than the Musket I can't even remember how many places have been out the other units in that bldg.

    1. During my six years here, the location on the corner where Musket is now has seen at least a half dozen places. I don't understand why. I would think it would be a prime location.


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