Harrison Road House celebrates 30 years

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By Keosha Burton
Entirely East Lansing staff writer

During Harrison Road Houses’ 30th anniversary celebration, many people gathered sharing drinks, food and dances, but others gathered simply to share memories.

Dave Scammz, a former Michigan State University student and a Canadian citizen, sat with his long time friend Graham Herbert inside the restaurant during the celebration while eating food, deserts, and reminiscing on his early years of being a customer.

Scammz had been a customer for 30 years and counting and he still remembered how the tradition started as if it had just started yesterday.

“Another guy and myself used to come down here for football games,” said Scammz.  “It became a meeting place for us, it grew.”

Scammz said he always liked the environment and judging from his visit to the 30th anniversary not much has changed.

“Its always had that right mix of informality, the right feel to it,” said Scammz.  “It was just a natural place to come to.”

“Same type of food and atmosphere that it was 30 years ago,” said Scammz.

The 30th anniversary gave employees the opportunity to reminisce as well.

“The 30 year mark for us gives us a chance to look back on all of the different things that we have been through here at the Harrison Roadhouse and remember all of the good times that we have had together,” said Alexander Mortensen, general manager of the restaurant.

It also gave them the opportunity to notice where there could be room for improvements.

“It also allows us to think about what new and fun things we can do to bring our future guests something to make them want to come back time and time again,” said Mortensen.

Although the anniversary meant a chance for employees to talk about improvement, for Graham Herbert it was the chance to get back to the fun and relaxed place he hadn’t been to in over 10 years.

“First time I’ve been back since 94, We used to come here frequently,” said Herbert.  “Great fun, relaxed place to be.”

What both Herbert and Scammz loved most was how relaxing the atmosphere still was.

“Its comfortable, like a round shoe,” said Scammz.

“You can let your hair down and not worry about much,” said Herbert.

Mortensen also feels that the restaurant has a relaxing atmosphere and that is one of the key factors in the restaurants lengthy operation along with the updates in food.

“I think a key factor in this lengthy operation has had a lot to do with keeping our food and drink specials and recipes up to date with the changing faces of the Lansing area,” said Mortensen.   “Also, one of the major factors is the relaxed, friendly environment that we are committed to that allows our customers to feel right at home whenever they are here.”

The restaurant has come a long way from its start in 1981.

“Celebrating 30 years is very exciting because this particular establishment and the surrounding area have come a very long way since the 80’s,” said Mortensen. “During the celebration it was great to see all of the regulars and employees from past years, but it was also the new faces that brought about a lot of the excitement.”

With the success the restaurant has had, Mortensen is confident that business will be well for years to come.

“Celebrating our 30th anniversary is a huge accomplishment because it reminds the community and ourselves how important and reliable we are as a business, and that we can make it for another 30 years,” said Mortensen.

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