By Ashley Luthern
Phill and Sandy Reda each have their own interpretation behind the name of their new restaurant, Magic Tree Pub & Eatery, which opens today.
For Phill, it’s a reminder of a tree that the husband- and-wife team discovered while on a walk in the woods.
“It was a nice experience that just stuck with me,” he said.
For Sandy, it’s more symbolic.
“It represents the roots that keep us grounded, but also that we want to take it higher and make a magical experience for our customers and reach out into the community,” Sandy said.
One day after celebrating the fourth anniversary of Vintage Estate Wine and Beer, 7317 South Ave., the couple is opening Magic Tree Pub at 7463 South Ave.
The menu features creations by head chef Chris Pinter that use mostly all-natural ingredients.
“There are no frozen meats. It’s all certified Angus beef, and we use free-range chicken. Our sauces and soups are all made from scratch,” Phill said.
Magic Tree is stocked with more than 90 bottled craft beers, a large selection of wine and a full bar.
The size and layout of Magic Tree, which includes a private banquet room, will allow different types of events from Vintage Estates, such as the Samuel Adams stein-hoisting competition at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sandy said.
“We couldn’t really do things like that at Vintage,” she said.
Joe Vukovich sampled Magic Tree menu items Monday during the restaurant’s trial run.
“[Sandy and Phill] told me to expect the unexpected, and they came through,” Vukovich said after trying the Bok Choy and Roasted Vegetable Orzo entree.
Vukovich also highly recommended the Nutty Drunken Brownie.
“I like having the casual atmosphere while the food is like a five-star restaurant,” Sandy said. “We want people to feel relaxed.”
Prices range from $12 to $22 for entrees, $9 for sandwiches and $8 for salads.
More than 100 people have been hired at Magic Tree, mostly part-time, and hours will be 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.