MILFORD — Lizards Bar and Grill, 132 S. Main St., celebrated its grand opening under new ownership with a well-attended ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday afternoon, Aug. 18.
Owners Rich Miotto Jr. and Tracy Miotto assumed ownership of the restaurant on July 1.
Milford is a venue that suited Rich’s tastes.
“Something that always attracted me in this area is the small-town feeling where everybody knows each other in the community,” he said. “I want to get to know everybody, so my first thing is to meet everyone as soon as they come in the door.
“We really want to be community oriented. We very much appreciate the first responders and the military,” said Rich, who has served as a volunteer firefighter in Winona Lake and Claypool for 24 years. “One of the first things we did was put up signs to show we support them.”
Town officials expressed their support for the restaurant at the ribbon cutting.
“This is a business that pays taxes and we are glad to see it retained in town,” said Doug Ruch, a town council member.
Fellow member Dan Cochran echoed the sentiment. “This is tremendous it is reopening. It is a positive choice for people who have not been to Milford. Hopefully, they will like Milford and decide to stay.”
This is the Miottos’ first foray into food service, but their personal resumes dovetail to provide leadership for the business.
“Tracy has worked as a supervisor for 25 years in group homes and cleaning service, so she has management experience,” Rich said. “I am more the worker and she is more the organizer. That is why we work really well together.”
Furthermore, the timing was right for the venture. The youngest of the Miotto children graduated from high school earlier this year, enabling the couple, both graduates of Warsaw High School, the opportunity to fulfill their longtime dream. “This is the time to do it, we told each other.”
Lizards Bar and Grill features daily lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Every Tuesday features tacos, but the remaining weekdays will offer other entrees. “We have had chicken and noodles, meatball sandwiches, Chicago dogs, spaghetti bakes, etc.,” said Rich.
“When it starts getting cold out, we will be doing chilis and soups,” he said.
The dinner menu includes a variety of appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, platters and baskets. Prime rib is featured from 5 to 9 p.m. or until sold out every Friday and Saturday. Reservations are preferred.
Meals can be ordered for dine-in or carry-out. Future plans include catering options.
Lizards Bar and Grill carries a three-way alcohol license for adult refreshments.
The restaurant will continue its tradition of live entertainment, including bands, DJs and karaoke on the weekends. Chris Cage from FM 103.5 also runs a trivia contest from 6:30 to 8 p.m. every Thursday.
Warsaw band “He Said She Said” will play from 9 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Aug. 18. Country band “Gunslinger” from Columbia City is slated to perform at 9 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25.
Rich is the son of former police chief Rich Miotto, who retired in June 2017 and has no ownership or managerial role in the restaurant.
Lizards Bar and Grill is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday, and 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday. The restaurant is closed on Sunday.
For more information or to make a reservation, call (574) 658-4904. Daily specials and weekly entertainment artists will be listed on the Lizards Bar and Grill Facebook page.