Salem Sports Shop being converted into restaurant

SALEM – There’s a big pharmacy sign in the basement, so Rod Herron knows the building once housed a corner drug store.

That was a long time before it became a tire store and the Salem Sports Shop.

There were also, apparently, doctor’s offices upstairs and Miller Holzwarth operated an office from the old building at 110 W. State St.

Herron, a local real estate developer, and his partner George Istocki are in the process of converting the corner building, probably circa 1860 Herron estimated, into a three-room EuroGyro restaurant.

It will feature a central bar and lounge/dining area and two adjoining main dining areas, one where the old barbershop was and the other wing to the west.

Seating will be about 100 and Herron expects to hire between 12 and 15 people to serve an extensive EuroGryo menu and 16 different beers that will be on tap.

Work began about a month ago in and outside the building and Herron said the investment is “more than a couple hundred thousand dollars.”

The first EuroGyro opened in 1984 in Akron, near the University of Akron campus and Istocki said he began in the restaurant business in 1979 at his father’s restaurant.

In 1989, the Kent restaurant was opened near Kent State University and over the years, more EuroGyro’s were created throughout the area.

The Akron location was recently rebuilt into a brand new 2-story 50,00 square foot building featuring two new bars, one upstairs and one downstairs and reopened in February 2012.

EuroGyros also offers delivery service on $10 and up orders for a $2 delivery fee.

Herron said they are renovating sections of the building with portions of large, tin ballroom ceiling panels that were dismantled from an upstair’s room … and part of the bar-lounge decor will include large iron-banded, wood whiskey barrels.

There will be an audio-video projector capability in one dining room for presentations.

The EuroGryo ( will be themed “old” Salem and Herron said if anyone has local memorabilia the restaurant will put it on display and people can contact him at the site.

The items will be considered on loan and Herron said contributors can have them returned at any time.

“I’m trying to keep old things,” he said, while pointing out two fireplaces that were uncovered and hiding behind the walls. One is on the east wall just off the North Ellsworth Ave. sidewalk and the other is in the west wall.

About seven employees from his Go Steel Roof company are on the job every day sanding down wood floors, sand-blasting the paint of the outside bricks and preparing the site.

Herron said, “People think I’m crazy, but we’re looking to open before Christmas … that’s my goal.”

Herron is also one of the partners for the Holiday Inn Express proposed for the east side of town and said, “We could possibly be digging dirt there in a few weeks.”