A newly opened scratch-made kitchen is the feature of @ The Square in Middletown, which has a new chef.
“We purchased the property back in 2019, and when we purchased it, we went through the pandemic, very shortly afterwards, for two years. So, we had planned to get the kitchen going from the beginning, but it soiled our plans with what we all went through,” said owner Shane Scott, who co-owns the establishment with his brother, Brandon Scott.
He said now seems like the right time to open it.
“It’s just good, scratch-made bar food. That’s a good way to describe it. That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get the word out because we haven’t had food. We just had chips and snacks, and it had become more of a late-night bar. We are trying to make it more of a place where you can come from the late afternoon until evening, around 3:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. It’s a bar that has food and it’s welcoming for everybody,” Scott said.
The menu features items such as a “Chicago Style Hot Dog,” a “Char Grilled Hamburger” (guests may also add cheese), and a “Philly Cheese Steak,” to name a few. Other specialty items include “Fire and Chicken,” “Shrimp and Crab Rangoon Egg Rolls” and “Southern Fried Chicken Sliders.” “Lettuce Wraps” and “Roman Bread” are also popular at @ The Square.
Food is served in baskets with deli paper. Most entrees are priced around $10-$12.
Scott said they’d like to keep the feel of @ The Square like “a dive bar,” or “a diner” when it comes to the restaurant scene, like Tanks Bar & Grille in Dayton.
“We are not trying to be something that we’re not. We’re not trying to remodel it to be super fancy…We want to keep it where you walk in and think it’s something that’s always been there. It’s very casual, and it feels like that place that’s been here a long time,” Scott said.
It’s clean, worn in places, and not too pretentious. Like a good neighborhood bar that’s been around a while, said Scott, as he continued to describe the vibe of @ The Square.
The bar area features seating for about 35 patrons, and it includes high-top seating as well as bar seating.
The renovated Rooftop offers outdoor seating with great city views. The Rooftop has seating for about 30 and there’s also plenty of standing room for guests.
“We are trying to bring more than just being a bar. We are trying to bring more to the DORA district,” Scott said. “Even though it is a bar, we’d like to get families to come out. There’s food, and we want to let people know that there’s something to do downtown.”
Brandon Scott is a Middletown resident. The brothers also own The Slice Pie in town, which opened in 2017.
“We saw an opportunity, and we have been buying up properties in and around Central Avenue as part of the whole downtown redevelopment, and we want to be a part of that,” Scott said. “So, these buildings that we’re buying, and/or businesses, we are also trying to improve them to go along with everything that’s going on in downtown Middletown.”
With the support of the City, Scott said they want to continue promote downtown and provide the community with another option.
“You can grab good food that you wouldn’t expect. It’s scratch-made bar food, so it’s better than some of the frozen foods, and stuff like that. We take the time to craft it, make it fresh, and it’s just really good,” Scott said. “We believe in downtown Middletown.”
Supporting downtown starts with people making an effort to come downtown, and our part is to give them a good food and entertainment venue while they are downtown, he said.
“That’s a big reason we wanted to add food, and not just add any kind of food. We wanted food that was so good, where you’d be like, ‘wow, this is good food for a bar.’ It’s fresh, we have a chef making it, and it’s memorable, where you want to come back,’” Scott said.
Drink specials are available. @ The Square also offers pool (with free pool on Mondays), open mic nights and live music.
HOW TO GO
What: @ The Square
Where: 1045 Central Ave., in Middletown
Hours: 3:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., daily. The kitchen closes at 1 a.m.
More info: facebook.com/AtTheSquareBar
About the Author