2 Salem restaurants closed last week

SALEM – The owner of the building that was home to the former Big Dog’s Seafood Steak & Ale said it’s sad to see two empty buildings on the corner.

Tom Doyle was referring to the South Ellsworth Ave. and Railroad St. corner where JD’s Wood Fired Grill at 441 S. Ellsworth Ave., and Big Dog’s at 377 S. Ellsworth Ave., both closed over the weekend.

Doyle received a notice from Tim Szczypinski, who co-owned Big Dog’s with his wife and partner, Dr. AnnMarie Bonetti, since January of 2013, that it was closing effective Feb. 2.

Doyle has owned the business since it operated as the former Hickory Rib. It was purchased by Szczypinski on a land contract and opened just under one year ago under the Big Dog name.

When it opened in March of 2013, Szczypinski said he expected to employ about 20 full- and part-time people.

Doyle said he received a text message from him late last week.

“He told me he wasn’t going to make it.”

JD’s Wood Fired Grill, owned by Jamie Kessler of Mineral Ridge, also closed late last week.

Attempts were made to contact owners of both businesses for this story. The phone in JD’s is disconnected.

Workers were removing the Ohio Lottery equipment from JD’s on Friday and said the business was permanently closed.

Doyle said he watched restaurant and bar equipment being removed from JD’s.

According to the Columbiana County auditor, the building at 441 S. Ellsworth Ave. has a value of $230,800, while the building at 377 S. Ellsworth Ave. has a value of $174,800.

Last March, JD’s re-opened after dropping the Wing Warehouse name with a remodeled kitchen, a new wood-fired grill, an all-new dining area, tile floor, crimson wall decor and a reduced the sports motif profile while retaining 11 television sets and Keno monitors.

It employed about 15 full- and part-time people while featuring a selection of 14 different burgers.

Doyle said he is interested in selling his building, which was extensively remodeled for Big Dog’s, outright.