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  • Akron Beacon Journal

    Vicious Biscuit festivities: Ribbon cutting Thursday, grand opening Friday in Montrose

    By Kerry Clawson, Akron Beacon Journal,

    2024-06-15
    https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=1W2UA4_0tsJC6Go00

    After more than a month in soft-opening mode, the fast-casual breakfast restaurant Vicious Biscuit will celebrate the grand opening of its first franchise ever June 21 in Copley, beginning at 7 a.m.

    The excitement over the new restaurant in Montrose, at 3900 Medina Road, is all part of the "breakfast rebellion" that's been going on since the first Vicious Biscuit was founded in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2018.

    Featuring huge, made-from-scratch biscuits with over-the-top Southern toppings, Vicious Biscuit has seven corporate restaurants in South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida and has awarded franchisee deals for 38 restaurants in Ohio, Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Utah.

    The Montrose Vicious Biscuit franchise, owned by Carl Albright of Medina, Curtis Fox of Norton, Dave Ost of Copley and Ken Troutman of Chagrin Falls, is Ohio's first. Their franchise deal allows them to open five more Vicious Biscuit locations in Summit, Medina and Cuyahoga counties in the future.

    Vicious Biscuit coming to Ohio:Akron-area business partners bring first Vicious Biscuit franchise ever to Montrose

    Need a break? Play the USA TODAY Daily Crossword Puzzle.

    At Vicious Biscuit Montrose celebrations, the official ribbon cutting will be at 9 a.m. Thursday. Friday morning, the first 100 guests will receive a free Vicious Biscuit entree each month for a full year, along with a koozie beverage insulator and sticker.

    The restaurant is open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The 5,500-square-foot location seats 140 patrons inside and 24 outside on its patio, with open-air access between the two.

    Vicious Biscuit currently offers call-in orders and takeout. In the next couple weeks, it will offer third-party delivery through DoorDash and Uber Eats.

    For more information, see viciousbiscuit.com, Vicious Biscuit Montrose on Facebook or call 330-576-3203.

    Filling a fast-casual breakfast void in Greater Akron

    Albright said Vicious Biscuit Montrose is filling a void in the area for fast-casual breakfasts with high-quality food made from scratch and made to order.

    "I couldn't be happier," he said Friday. "It's really about the food being amazing. And you feel proud and you feel good about putting down something in front of someone that 99 times out of 100, it's one of the best things they've ever had."

    The Vicious Biscuit menu features 16 biscuit inventions, from the Sea Biscuit with fried shrimp, sweet and spicy slaw, yum yum sauce, sesame and cilantro garnish on a buttermilk biscuit to the Nashville Hot Chicken on a cheddar jalapeno biscuit with crispy chicken tossed in Nashville hot sauce with honey mustard and thick-cut pickle chips.

    Diners also can purchase a buttermilk, cheddar jalapeno or gluten-free biscuit a la carte for $3.50 and sample all the flavors from the restaurant's popular Jam Bar, including honey, maple bourbon and sweet potato butters; and peach habanero, apple pie, blueberry ghost pepper, blackberry and strawberry jams.

    Vicious Biscuit also offers shareable sides and desserts, as well as a variety of craft cocktails.

    On Friday, Albright's 20-year-old son, Griffin, was cooking and 18-year-old son, Maddox, was working as a runner. Albright's 17-year-old daughter, Avery, also does expo and cashier work at the restaurant.

    Albright reported that the top sellers in Montrose so far are The Vicious, which is a cheddar jalapeno biscuit with fried chicken, maple sausage gravy, cowboy candy (tequila pickled jalapenos) and maple syrup drizzle; and the Vicious Benny, an open-face buttermilk biscuit with two sunny-up eggs, smoked ham, hollandaise sauce, chive and paprika.

    "Carl's store may sell the most (Vicious Bennys) in our company," said Michael Ball, vice president of operations for the Vicious Biscuit corporation.

    Other top sellers at the Montrose restaurant are the traditional Old School breakfast with eggs, meat, grits or potatoes and buttermilk biscuit, and the Vicious Beignets.

    Traditional brunch fare is made "Vicious" with creative ingredients and food pairings.

    "We put our Vicious twist on them so our beignets are our spin on the New Orleans classic and we fill them with a cinnamon cream cheese and then top them over a strawberry jam with whipped cream," Ball said.

    The restaurant also makes eggs benedict "Vicious" by serving it with thick, sugar-cured ham, rather than a slice of Canadian bacon, over a biscuit instead of an English muffin.

    How Vicious Biscuit started in South Carolina

    Vicious Biscuit co-founder and chef Michael Greeley, who's been a musician his whole life, came up with the eatery's bold name, much like naming a band. Greeley and his wife brainstormed the breakfast/brunch business concept when they had a young child and wished they could find a place to eat great buttermilk biscuits and brunch all day.

    Greeley launched his Vicious Biscuit catering business in 2017, formulating his own scratch recipe for buttermilk biscuits and innovative toppings and sauces. He dubbed his biscuit "one mean biscuit."

    He came up with the Fat Boy — crispy fried chicken with pimento cheese and hot honey drizzle on a buttermilk biscuit — with his wife, Carly, as his guinea pig. When she tasted his creation at home after work one night, she said the southern sandwich was not only fantastic, but eating it all the time would make him a fat guy.

    Veteran restaurateur George McLaughlin read a rave review about Greeley, who at the time wanted to start a biscuit food truck. He and Greeley became partners and instead opened up the Vicious Biscuit's first brick-and-mortar restaurant in 2018.

    Love from customers at Vicious Biscuit Montrose

    On Friday, friends from former St. Mary's High School Patty Minrovic of Tallmadge, Stephanie Dowler of Akron and Alyce Wagner of Norton enjoyed an early afternoon meal. Minrovic had a Vicious yogurt bowl, Wagner ate a Bird and Belgian plate with crispy fried chicken and sweet potato waffle and Dowler had Shrimp & Grits.

    "I wouldn't share mine," said Dowler, who enjoyed the "cakey" texture of her buttermilk biscuit.

    "I mentioned the mimosa carafe but Alyce just laughed at me," Dowler reported.

    A large chalkboard at the restaurant titled "We Love Our Customers" displays fun customer reviews gleaned from social media. One says, "If there is a heaven, it includes a Vicious Biscuit where the calories don't count! ― Megan M."

    Another says: "Why was the biscuit so confident? Because is knew it was dough-licious! The best I ever had! ― Kathryn S."

    A quote from Albright's sister, Carol Eastman, who first introduced him to Vicious Biscuit in Summerville, South Carolina, says: "I almost put my house up for sale so I could eat at Vicious Biscuit. I ate here 278 times in 2023. This is the reason God created taste buds."

    Information from Akron-area reviews has been valuable, said Chief Operating Officer Amanda Kahalehoe, who stressed both southern flavors and southern hospitality are important at Vicious Biscuit.

    "One of my favorite reviews that came out of Akron was that people felt that they were on vacation in the south in their hometown" at Vicious Biscuit, she said. "So to get that feedback and to see how well the brand has translated to the north and the Midwest area has been really exciting for us."

    Vicious Biscuit has a playful vibe inside with its fun signage and bright, airy atmosphere. The company's social media is also playful, including a Facebook post on National Egg Day June 3, saying: "Eggs are like life. Sometimes it's beautiful. Sometimes it's a mess. But it's always better at Vicious Biscuit."

    Arts and restaurant writer Kerry Clawson may be reached at 330-996-3527 or kclawson@thebeaconjournal.com.

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