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Pictured, from left, are Evolution Bar and Grill bartender Marcus Lofton, owner Chelsea Statton and chef Corey Frye.

Evolution Bar and Grill aims to elevate patrons’ restaurant, bar experience

BUCKHANNON – A new business in town hopes to offer the best of a combined restaurant-and-bar experience.

Evolution Bar and Grill officially opened July 30 at 6 North Kanawha Street, and starting this Friday Aug. 6, they will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m., serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and bar food.

“I’ve always been kind of a weekend warrior and I know exactly how I think bar life should be and how it shouldn’t be,” Evolution Bar and Grill owner Chelsea Statton said. “I wanted a cleaner and classier environment – not really upscale – but something spicy, where people can come and enjoy their dinner, but then they can also have a drink, be comfortable and enjoy a nice, clean atmosphere.”

The official hours do not start until this Friday because that’s when they will start serving alcohol, but until then, they also have a full food menu. Evolution Bar and Grill offers breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., dinner from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and bar food from 11 a.m. to midnight.

“For breakfast food, we can do fresh fruits and oats; we can do fresh omelets; we can do biscuits and gravy; ham, bacon and sausage platters; and breakfast smoothies,” Chelsea Statton said. “Our bar food is mostly classic bar items like fried pickles, beer-battered onion rings, and we have Jack Daniels whiskey burgers. For lunch, we have a chicken Alfredo with fresh garlic bread, and it’s awesome. We’ve been getting the best compliments; everyone loves that Alfredo, and then we have fish and chips with tartar sauce.”

Chelsea Statton said she is probably most excited about their dinner menu, which showcases steak and seafood options.

“We were slammed last Friday because everyone came in for all these seafood platters, and that was exciting,” she said. “There’s not a lot of places where you can consistently get seafood around here. That’s why I wanted to do something different that you can’t get anywhere else; I want to do a different menu.”

Several of the seafood options include lobster tails, swordfish, tuna and salmon, but a full menu for Evolution Bar and Grill can be found on their Facebook page here.

Co-owner and head chef Kao Statton said all food is fresh and will never be frozen.

“Our kitchen is a fresh-food based one. I don’t freeze anything, so all our red meat comes in 12-ounce and 60-ounce fresh-cut filets,” Kao Statton said. “I go down and I approve the meat and our fish comes in loins, so it comes with the whole fish and then I chop it up here. We’re a shorthand kitchen, making entrees that are five stars, so the wait times are a little longer, but the meals are worth the wait.”

Evolution Bar and Grill co-owners Kao and Chelsea Statton.

The bar has not yet finalized a cocktail menu, but the Stattons said they are currently working on different recipes and will have them ready for this Friday, Aug. 6.

“Kao is really good at that because he’s from Vegas, so he does all the Cosmos and all the martinis, and he’s going to make me a drink list this week, and we’ll go from there, but I’m excited to see what kind of stuff he comes up with,” Chelsea Statton said.

She said they have also partnered with Lambert’s Winery to offer wine, but they do not plan to offer draft beer.

“We’re not going to do draft, just because I don’t want to do the draft here, so we’re going to do the bottles of beer,” Statton said. “I’m going to have Bud Light Platinum in the bottle, which is something that nobody else carries around here. I just want to make sure we’re always a little different from everyone else.”

Kao Statton said they renovated most of the bar, formerly The Social, and he completed most of the work himself.

“I wanted a more intimate setting, so that’s why I built these smaller tables,” he said. “I built all these with my bare hands. I built everything in here, including the floor. I wanted a very intimate and personal setting, where we make sure customers have a good experience.”

A shot of the new floors and tables of Evolution Bar and Grill
The entrance to the newly renovated restrooms and pool table

Chelsea Statton said the first part of the location they renovated were the restrooms.

“We’ve gutted everything – we took everything out – and we put it back in and made it pretty,” Statton said. “The first thing I wanted to renovate was the restrooms because those were the worst part of the whole bar, so we took everything out and made it new.”

Evolution Bar and Grill also plans to offer specials throughout the week.

“I think we’re going to do Monday as Gentleman’s Nights, Tuesday is going to be Bingo Night, Wednesday will be Wesleyan Wednesday, so I’m going to do a karaoke in here for them on Wednesdays, Thursday will be Ladies’ Night, and on Friday, I’m probably going to do a DJ, and Saturday I’m thinking free jukebox and free time on the pool table,” Statton said.

For more information or if you have questions, call 304-460-2236, email evolutionbarllc@gmail.com or visit their Facebook page.

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