10-4. Aldo Dean’s restaurant, Momma's Roadhouse (formerly The Dirty Crow Inn at 855 Kentucky), is going to be a trucker bar. The restaurant/bar now is open, but the facelift is on its way.
“We’re going to make it a trucker-themed bar,” says Dean. “And there’s not a trucker-themed bar in America. There are truck stops, but no trucker-themed bars. It’s close to the highway. 'Diner and Dive on Highway 55.'”
Dean, who also owns Bardog Tavern, Aldo’s Pizza Pies, and the Slider Inns, already is collecting trucker-related items for Momma’s Roadhouse. “Street signs, highway signs. A six-foot ‘Wide Load’ sign. ‘No Dumping Allowed.’ That sign. A knife and fork from a highway sign. It shows there’s a restaurant at the next exit. We'll have signs like that.”
Other trucker-related decor? “We’re putting cowboy boots, trucker hats, CB radios, belt buckles on the walls. It’s going to be filled with dive-y kitsch. That’s long term. That’s the plan heading into 2020.”
Dean bought the property after he learned the owner wanted to sell the building. “So, we made him a good offer. And that was part of the deal - that we could own the property with an operating restaurant on it. It’s already called ‘Momma’s Roadhouse.’ We’re going to keep it dive-y. Keep it a dive bar.”
It has a new menu. “It’s burger heavy. But we really just needed a fast transformation. We had an agreement to keep it ‘Dirty Crow’ for six months. Six months is over.”
For now, they’re “getting to know the clientele,” Dean says. “The Dirty Crow was heavy on wings, but the Dirty Crow supposedly is going to open in another location. So, he (the former owner) is going to keep that menu. That’s going to be his thing.
“We want to do some fun drink specials. We want to start drink specials early because Momma drinks early. We want people to join her.”
Momma’s Roadhouse is going to be “21 and over,” Dean says. “I think a true bar is a place adults can go and drink when they’re happy or sad. And dives are named such because they’re often in the basement or cellar of a building, so you kind of had to dive down deep to get in those bars. And dives are traditionally disreputable places. I don’t think that’s so true anymore.
“Our place will be spick and span. But we’ll have a place open to 3 a.m. and entertain people from the neighborhood at night and continue to serve huge lunch crowds that are in that area. We have busy lunches there every day and there’s not a place to sit. A lot of industrial workers down there, guys (who) go to work in a uniform.”
They’ve been getting workers from the “Mack truck store down the street, the Hershey plant, workers from Presidents Island.”
Momma’s Roadhouse will do dollar wings on Wednesdays. And, Dean says, “In the future, an industry brunch on Mondays for restaurant people who work late on Sundays.”
Their menu is “a work in progress. We’re still tooling with the menu, but we hope to roll out a complete menu sometime in November.”
And they’re adding darts shortly and a pool table on the deck in the near future, Dean says.
As for those big trucks, parking at Momma’s Roadhouse is convenient for truckers, Dean says. “They can park on Kentucky Street here instead of going into the interior of the city. It’s difficult to have a big rig Downtown. It’s a good place for them to have a hot meal and a cold beer at the end of the long haul.”
Truckers can “come off the highway, conveniently park and eat at Momma’s, and roll back onto the road.”