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At home on the Shores: Redwood Shores sees first new sit-down restaurant since 1993
August 13, 2014, 05:00 AM By Kerry Chan Daily Journal

Kerry Chan/Daily Journal
Bartender Michael Torres mixes a cocktail while chatting with Amy Buckmaster and Holly McFarland, Redwood Shores residents who are catching up with each other at the bar. Buckmaster is the president and CEO of the Redwood City-San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce.

Kasey Broach brings out an aromatic bowl of tomato soup served with a grilled cheese sandwich.

The opening of The Grill House Restaurant and Bar in Redwood Shores was a triumphant moment for Will and James Hayes, two brothers who stayed positive despite the struggles of launching a new business almost stalled by a fire.

Will and James Hayes spent more than three years developing plans for their ideal restaurant. They envisioned a place where friends and family could share a meal made with quality ingredients, enjoy varieties of craft beers or watch a sports game.

“In order to make this work, we really had to dive and put our head down and really push hard,” said Will.

Two months before they launched, James Hayes the executive chef, was working on recipes in his Sunnyvale apartment when he realized the building was engulfed in flames.

“I just ran out with nothing but my shoes and had to leave everything behind,” James Hayes said.

He lost the menu, notes and recipes stored in a laptop burned by the fire.

Will and James Hayes said it was a setback but they were prepared to do what it takes to realize what they started. They had been unfulfilled with their careers and remember talking about owning their own business since they were young.

“We are always hosting and entertaining our family and friends and when we get together, they always joke and say that one day, they’ll be eating at our restaurant,” Will Hayes said.

After three years of planning and scouting locations, they secured a spot in Redwood Shores. The neighborhood had not seen a sit-down dining venue open there since 1993, said Kasey Broach, marketing director for The Grill House.

“I love having something like this in the neighborhood where I can meet friends, have great food and connect, it builds a sense of community,” said Amy Buckmaster, president and CEO of the Redwood City-San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce.

The classic American menu focuses on using locally farmed produce and a theme that ties their food with grilling and craft beers. For example, The Grill House’s version of tomato soup and grilled cheese is a bowl of fragrant tomatoes that are grilled and pureed served alongside a crusty panini bread grilled with melted cheddar cheese.

Their house vinaigrette starts off with a conventional oil and red wine vinegar base then infused with Trumer Pils from a local brewery, which gives it a slight floral and nutty note.

With more than 16 craft beers on tap, locally produced vodka and liquor and a menu that focuses on local and fresh ingredients the community has been overwhelmingly positive, said Will Hayes.

“The Grill House brings in more foot traffic and this area needed a variety of foods, we all need to support each other,” said Nariman Obeidi, owner of Falafel Tazah, a few doors down.

Broach said Redwood Shores is the perfect community to serve, with more than 11,000 residents and thousands more employees from companies in the area that now have a place to sit down and be treated like family.

Must-try dishes:

French Dip Panini, Slices of tender roast beef inside toasty panini bread that is the perfect vessel to hold up in the au jus dip made from the roast beef drippings.

Caprese Crostini: Fresh tomatoes and mozzarella dressed with balsamic glaze and drizzles of basil pesto.

Spiritini: A fruity, tropical yet not overwhelmingly sweet concoction of Spirit Works Vodka, Malibu pineapple rum and Chambord.

The Grill House is located at 246 Redwood Shores Parkway in Redwood Shores.

For more information go to



Tags: hayes, redwood, shores, their, james, house,

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