Mitch Shilling, co-owner of A&E Grill, said he and his business partner, Aaron Warren, hope to put an end to a trend of failing restaurants at a location in the center of Mustang.
"We are putting everything into this, our blood and tears," Shilling said. "We are very excited about opening in Mustang."
Shilling said he expects the new restaurant to open at the building at 305 E. State Highway 152 in September. The building has housed former restaurants such as Tony’s Island Grill and Harry’s American Grill & Bar.
It will be the second location for A&E Grill, with the other one operating out of Chickasha at 802 W. Grand Ave.
"We have had our Chickasha restaurant for about nine years now," he said.
A&E Grill stands for Aaron and Ed. Former co-owner, Ed Hicks, owned four Mexican restaurants before he passed away. The two took pride in the restaurant in Chickasha being voted as having the best chicken fried steak in Grady County.
"Ed was a mentor of mine and really taught me a lot about the business," Warren said. "He showed me the importance of focusing on the customer and how to create customer loyalty by doing all of the little things that go a long way in the customers’ mind."
Shilling said he and his business partner had been looking for a second location for sometime before deciding on Mustang.
"We were looking around for quite a while for another place and we thought this building was very, very nice," he said. "We also knew Mustang was a thriving town and there was a need for a nice sit-down, full-service restaurant. We met with the Mayor and he was very helpful with introducing us to some other people in the community. The Mayor said he plans to introduce us at an upcoming City Council meeting."
Mustang Mayor Jay Adams said he was happy to hear about the restaurant opening in town.
"I had met with them a couple times down at their restaurant in Chickasha and they are a great group of guys," Adams said. "I am very happy to have them here."
Adams said he believes A&E Grill will have success in Mustang, unlike some of the former restaurants that have operated out of that location.
"They have a very successful business going on down in Chickasha and have a proven track record," he said.
Shilling and Warren submitted their business application to the City of Mustang on July 17.
"Right now we are doing some remodeling to the inside of the building, putting up some walls and painting," he said.
A&E Grill will offer a wide variety of American food.
"We will focus on a great family dining experience and provide American-style food," he said. "We have really good chicken fried steak, burgers, pastas and steaks. Our menu will be big enough to offer a wide variety, but small enough to show attention to detail."
The menu will also consist of soups, salads, sandwiches and catfish.
Shilling said hiring for the new restaurant will begin soon. He said it will employ about 70 people.
For more information about A&E Grill, visit them online at www.aandegrill.com.