Ryan Dion has fond memories of his days growing up in Melrose and traveling to Route 1 to enjoy a steak at the Hilltop.
“Route 1 is my old stomping ground,” said Dion, who graduated from Melrose High (Class of 1999) and UNH with a degree in Business and Hospitality. “The old Hilltop was family dinner most Saturday nights. I remember waiting two hours for seating in Sioux City, Kansas City, and Dodge City. I use to run around the old phone booths with my brothers.”
Dion is now the chief operating officer of 110 Grill, which just celebrated its grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony at its newest location on Route 1 in Saugus.
The 110 Grill in Saugus is the restaurant group’s 18th location and it sits majestically on the former site of the legendary Hilltop Steakhouse. The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured the lighting of the iconic Hilltop cactus.
Asked to describe 110 Grill, Dion replied, “110 Grill is upscale, casual, American cuisine in a trendy, casual atmosphere.”
110 Grill features steaks, seafood, a variety of sandwiches, salads, and appetizers, as well as monthly rotating specials that the chefs create.
Appetizers range from $7 to $15. Entrees range from $14 to $30.
Why have the 110 Grill restaurants – now in three states (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York) proven to be so popular with diners?
“I believe it’s three things – great food, great service, and the great ambiance,” said Dion. “What I love about our concept is being upscale casual, you can come in here in a business suit and have a $32 ribeye and a bottle of Duckhorn Cabernet, or you come in shorts and sandals from the beach, sit at the bar and have a burger and a beer. Either way, you fit in.”
The restaurants seats 155 persons, with a private function room available for lunch, dinner, and cocktail receptions.
“We’re absolutely excited to get to know the local folks,” said Dion. “We have a great crew working here from Saugus, Melrose, Revere, Lynn, and other area communities.”
110 Grill appears destined to be a huge hit on the local restaurant scene.