PARKERSBURG - Jim Mushrush has been in the restaurant business for 35 years, and his newest venture, Mushrush's Restaurant & Pub at 1415 Garfield Ave., offers homestyle cooking with fresh ingredients served up with southern hospitality.
With his white hair and beard Mushrush is often mistaken for Col. Sanders and in fact has been nicknamed the "Little Colonel." When he isn't out in the restaurant meeting and greeting customers, he can be found in the kitchen cooking up a fresh batch of his Southern-style fried chicken in a cast-iron skillet. Mushrush prides himself on offering fresh, homecooked family style meals.
"We have no frozen products in the restaurant. The meat is cut fresh daily, handcut by an executive chef and myself. Our pork chops are also cut by hand with the bone in, there are no products with MSG, always fresh ingredients," Mushrush said. "We also have our half-pound certified Black Angus steak burger. We offer ten different styles of burgers and there are always daily specials."
Photo by Pamela Brust
Jim Mushrush, owner of Mushrush’s Restaurant & Pub, is shown with the half-pound Black Angus burgers that are a house specialty.
The restaurant opens at 11 a.m. from 11 p.m., closing is midnight, seven days a week.
"We have a banquet room available at this time that will seat up to 34 and we hope to have a larger room coming later in the fall," Mushrush said.
The restaurant also features a full bar in the main restaurant seating area and a separate sports bar complete with flatscreen televisions and a fully stocked bar.
Mushrush is right at home in the kitchen.
"I grew up having to cook for my mother who was legally blind, and I've owned restaurants since 1977. The Parkersburg venture will be the eighth restaurant he's opened in his career. The last one was an Irish pub in Peoria, Ill.
Mushrush, who hails originally from Arkansas, said he's all about Southern hospitality.
"When I'm not in the kitchen, I'm out on the floor making sure my guests are taken care of, listening for feedback and trying to give the public what they like," he said.
The restaurant offers a full menu from appetizers, soups and salads, children's meals, battered and fried chicken, steak, seafood, char-grilled Mushrush burgers, chicken sandwiches, Ahi and Cajun style tuna, pork chops; all beef, quarter pound 100 percent Kosher beef hotdogs; ribeye steak sandwiches, fish, and pizza, to desserts made fresh daily that include peach and apple cobbler, and cheesecake.
When asked about the origin of his unusual name, Jim will proudly tell you he's Cherokee/Irish.
Every Thursday, from 4-8 p.m. is Bucket Beer night featuring a free taco bar with purchase.
"It will be set up buffet style and patrons can fix their own tacos, it will be set up in the sports bar," Mushrush said.
Mushrush has a special connection with this area; his wife, Tamela "Tami" (Sams), was born and raised in Wood County. She's a graduate of Parkersburg High School, West Virginia Wesleyan and West Virginia University.
The couple met while both were working for URS Corp. at Caterpillar Inc in East Peoria and came back to Parkersburg in February 2009 to tie the knot. Mushrush is a graduate of Arkansas State University and served in the U.S. Army.