VALLEY DEALS 365 - Decades of restaurant experience headlines Mojo’s
By Corey Crisan
In Partnership with 21 WFMJ-TV
$20 voucher for $10
Locations: 6292 Mahoning Ave., Austintown
Hours: Hours vary, closed Mondays
Offerings: Burgers, barbecue, seafood, salads
The deal: Valleydeals365.com
Watch our video with Mojo’s owner John Marino at Vindy.com/Valleyfood
Mojo’s Pub-N-Grill in Austintown is a continuation of the Marino family restaurant success in the Mahoning Valley – putting an “American” spin on the classic pub theme.
“When you think ‘pubs,’ you think English or Irish,” owner John Marino said. “An American pub, to me, is a pub that plays rock ‘n’ roll and has American food … some greats like barbecue, burgers, hotdogs … American cuisine.”
Valley Deals 365 - Mojos
An interview with Mojo's Pub-N-Grill Owner John Marino. This video feature is from Valley Deals 365 a partnership between The Vindicator and 21 WFMJ-TV. Visit Valleydeals365.com to view this and other deals.
Marino began his career in the restaurant business at 5 when his parents opened Marino’s on Mahoning Avenue. After graduating from Ohio State University, John returned to manage operations at the restaurant. He established Mojo’s Pub-N-Grill in the early 2000s as a literal extension of Marino’s.
While he managed Marino’s during the day, he operated Mojo’s in the nighttime. The success of the night operation enabled John to branch off into his own location in 2010.
The bar at Mojo’s features 25 beer taps, including local favorites Birdfish, Paladin, and Penguin City. The food menu offers options of salads, house-made soups, barbecue, and 16 combined burger and sandwich options. Barbecue items include pulled pork and ribs with a house-made barbecue sauce.
“The pulled pork, we’ll cook for 14 hours,” Marino said. “The ribs, we’ll cook for six. It’s a slow process, but it’s well worth it.”
Marino moonlighted his experience of running a restaurant in the daytime while running a bar environment in the evening, and parlayed it into the dual-experience of today’s version of Mojo’s: a pub by day, and a comedy club by night.
“Mojo’s was always known for the good food and the good drinks,” Marino said. “Bringing comedy to Mojo’s was just a great fit.
Mojo’s Comedy Cellar makes the place one of the more unique destinations for dining in the Valley.
“It’s nice to get people to come in [and] have dinner upstairs. They come in, they watch the show ... they can get in and out before midnight.”
Numerous notable comedians have rolled through the Valley to perform at Mojo’s. Marino says veterans like Tom Green, Dave Coulier (better known as Uncle Joey from “Full House”), April Macie (of “Last Comic Standing”), and Greg Hahn have headlined weekend shows in the past.
“[We get] a wide range of comedians who travel,” Marino said. “We work with agents from California and New York, and it adds a bit more work into it. But in order to get the great comics, that’s what you need to do.”
Mojo’s Comedy Cellar holds just over 100 guests, giving just about everyone an opportunity at a front-row seat.
“They [comedians] love the room because of the feedback from the close-knit audience,” Marino noted. “They’re able to bond with the audience. We say every seat in here is front row. The comics love it, and so do the guests, because they’re up close and personal.”
The hours at Mojo’s Pub-N-Grill vary by day. It is closed on Mondays. Comedians are typically booked for Friday and Saturday evening shows. For specific hours, menu, and events at the Comedy Cellar, visit mojospubngrill.com.