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Italian steakhouse owner committed to legacy

 

Photo by Jeremiah Shelor Lights illuminate the stone exterior of the Wonder Bar Steakhouse in Clarksburg.
Photo by Jeremiah Shelor
Lights illuminate the stone exterior of the Wonder Bar Steakhouse in Clarksburg.

By Jeremiah Shelor

Exponent-Telegram

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Located just off Bridgeport Hill Road, the Wonder Bar Steakhouse sits atop a hill overlooking the Clarksburg cityscape.

Since the restaurant opened in 1946, many patrons have made their way to the top of that hill to dine at the Wonder Bar, enjoying a tender steak and some good conversation while the lights from downtown Clarksburg shine in the distance.

Owner Danny Watts, who bought the Wonder Bar Steakhouse in November of 2012, said he’s very mindful of the restaurant’s history.

The walls of the dining room are adorned with black-and-white photographs that preserve and document the steakhouse’s illustrious past.

Still, Watts said he’s been working since March to improve on the restaurant and modernize it for a new generation of patrons.

“The fear of doing any changes at all to a place that’s been around for 70 years is that you’ll put off the people that are used to the way it was,” Watts said.

But even as he makes alterations, Watts said he has worked hard to continue catering to longtime customers.

“I’ve got people who say they’ve been eating here for 50 years or longer,” he said.

Watts listed some of the renovations he’s made, including expanding the dining space and adding new stonework and cedar beams to the restaurant’s exterior. He’s also in the process of building a new kitchen, he said.

“I’m trying to set it up to where it’s going to last another 60 to 70 years,” Watts said.

Watts has put his own stamp on the restaurant, but quite a lot of the old Wonder Bar’s charm has been preserved…

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