Norm Roy always wanted to start his own business. At his funeral, the dream was buried with him. But when Norm’s son, Gary Roy, decided to open a B-town restaurant with friend Chris Horton, they gave him a nod by calling it Norm’s Grill.
The “sports grill” will be located in the New North End shopping center where Avenue Bistro once was. Roy, who lives in the area, says he’ll “consider the community’s needs over the chef’s ego.” Translation? Dinner entrées will top out at $20 and lunch dishes around $7.
Those “fast and wholesome” midday meals will include burgers, panini and creative sandwiches and wraps. Between 4 and 5 p.m., Norm’s will feature early-bird specials designed as nutritious soul food for the neighborhood’s elderly contingent — including Roy’s mother.
Roy, who learned his way around the kitchen as a student in Burlington High School’s culinary program, plans to hire several interns from his alma mater. Since graduating, he says, he’s accumulated 31 years in the restaurant business, including running a restaurant and market in Nantucket for the past decade. Partner Horton is a CPA.
As he chats with Seven Days, Roy samples maple-pumpkin cheesecake prepared by Norm’s chef — who trained at the Cordon Bleu in Paris — and its NECI-schooled sous-chef, whom Roy describes as a “young, upcoming stud.” The owner says much of the menu will consist of steaks and seafood prepared over flames. Other planned menu items include classic steak au poivre and salmon with chipotle barbecue béarnaise. Roy promises that when the restaurant opens in December, the “specials will be a little more complicated.”
The bar, formerly part of the restaurant, has been sectioned off and will soon have 11 screens tuned to sports. To build a fun-loving clientele, Roy is working up a weekly sports pub quiz, as well as possible “Family Feud” and “Burlington Idol” nights. Party in the New North End...
Justin Turcotte: Gotta love our little food Mecca!
Roy: Meh. They can't compare to Red Hen and dealing with Hunt is often not worth the trouble.
Tammy Goughnour: This will be AWESOME!! Their pastry is out of this world!!
Old Vermonter: Amazing they lasted so long with such terrible business acumem
Bryan Bouchard: It wasn't that good before. Of they didn't reopen it wouldn't be a great loss to the Burlington…