Food For Thought to replace Belrock Diner

BELPRE- The town of Belpre will be getting some “Food For Thought” with the opening of a restaurant in the Belpre Plaza Shopping Center along Washington Boulevard.

The Food For Thought restaurant, at the site of the former Belrock Country Diner, is expecting to open within the next couple of weeks, before the end of the month, said business owner Charlie Smith.

Smith’s family has been in the restaurant business for a number of years, owning and operating The Coffee Cup in Nelsonville, Ohio, until a couple of years ago when the business burned down. Afterward, he left the restaurant business and went into retail work in the Parkersburg area.

One of the customers he regularly interacted with was Vikki Higgins, the owner of the Belpre Plaza Shopping Center as well as the property the restaurant sits on. She told him she had the space available and would like him to set up a restaurant there.

“I took one look at the building and said, ‘I am in,”‘ Smith said.

The Belrock Country Diner closed May 15.

“We are excited,” Higgins said of Food For Thought. “They will have outside seating and are looking to be able to serve beer.

“The food is amazing. It will be a real nice place to go.”

Smith was missing the restaurant business and being able to interact with customers on a daily basis.

“I decided I was too young to retire,” he said,

They have been working for five weeks to get the restaurant ready to open.

“We are about two weeks out,” Smith said. “We are still waiting on some equipment and permits.”

People who have seen the work could not believe the transformation, Smith said.

There has been a misconception by some that the restaurant will be fine dining.

Smith said the restaurant will be casual. Many of the recipes are what they have developed over the years.

“We have an eclectic menu,” Smith said. “Everything is homemade. We are very big on desserts.”

The restaurant, which is expecting to have a capacity of 80-90 people, will be serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

“If you drive through Belpre at lunch time, it is a busy town,” he said.

While in Nelsonville, Smith said, they made it a point to be part of and involved in the community where they were located.

“I like to become a part of where I am at,” he said. “We want to leave our mark.”

Smith is hopeful people will come to the restaurant and enjoy the food.

“My hope is that this restaurant will become a successful addition to the Mid-Ohio Valley,” he said. “When people leave our restaurant, I hope they had an incredible meal everytime and will not hesitate about coming back.”