Boalsburg natives look to fill void with new restaurant

Abby Drey adrey@centredaily.com

A look inside Breakfast on Boal at 603 Boal Ave.

Brad Holzwarth and Mike Smoczynski both grew up in Boalsburg and, when they decided to open a restaurant together, knew what the small community needed: a sit-down breakfast spot. Luckily, Smoczynski already had the experience working in the back-of-house at a restaurant in Colorado and Holzwarth had front-of-house restaurant experience, prepping the two to open Breakfast on Boal in mid-May.

“We live in Boalsburg and grew up in Boalsburg and, for years, we drove to other restaurants to eat breakfast. When our location became available, we thought it would fit a need on this end of town,” Holzwarth said.

The response to the restaurant’s opening, the two said, has been extremely positive, with local customers seeing how Breakfast on Boal fills a void in the community.

“I think people are happy that something like this is in Boalsburg. We started out with no advertising. It was a lot of people seeing the project or knowing us personally and the rumor mill started turning about a sit-down (breakfast restaurant). People were excited to check it out,” Holzwarth said. “Thankfully, we’ve had a lot of returning customers from that grassroots growth, who are just excited to have a sit-down breakfast restaurant in Boalsburg.”

 

The restaurant, which is open Tuesday through Sunday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., offers a menu filled with breakfast favorites with a Southwestern spin, inspired by Smoczynski’s work in Colorado and incorporating ingredients like green chiles and chorizo. So far, favorites on the menu include the breakfast burrito filled with eggs, potatoes, cheese, house-made green chile and a choice of protein, and the chorizo hash, a Southwestern take on corned beef hash. Classic breakfast options are available, too, such as the Boalsburg Breakfast, with two eggs, potatoes, bacon or sausage.

“We more recently put the avocado toast on the menu, which has been going very well. It’s not very different in this day and age, but we think our twist on it is more unique than just a plain, smashed avocado on a piece of toast,” added Holzwarth. The avocado toast, with sourdough bread, also includes sliced tomato, arugula and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

 

The menu incorporates locally-sourced and house-made ingredients, too, such as coffee from Rothrock Coffee and Boalsburg-baked brioche buns for the breakfast sandwiches. A rotating selection of muffins is made in-house, as are seasonal jams and jellies, like the currently available strawberry rhubarb and blueberry lemon jams.

Though the restaurant’s menu began on the smaller side, Smoczynski said he feels positive about the current, more established menu and plans to adjust offerings on a seasonal basis.

“We’re finally at a point where we’re comfortable with where our menu’s at,” he said. “We started with a smaller menu to dial everything in and make sure we could offer good-quality, consistent food. I think we’ve gotten to the point now where we can change our menu seasonally, at least for summer and winter.”

 

As for the restaurant’s environment and the customer experience, Smoczynski said the two are going for a “homey, comfortable vibe,” with lots of light, wood and earthy tones. The dining room can sit about 70 diners and, already, Holzwarth said Breakfast on Boal has cultivated its own sense of community within the community.

He said, “People will come in and, before they get to their seat, they’ll stop at three different tables to talk to friends and neighbors. I think that’s something neat. It’s turning into one of those places you can come to and recognize your friends and neighbors. There’s a sense of community in the restaurant.”

 

This community fits right within his goals for the eatery. “We live here. We eat breakfast here. My goal is to grow to be part of the local peoples’ routines,” Smoczynski said.

Breakfast on Boal is located at 603 Boal Ave. in Boalsburg. Learn more at www.breakfastonboal.com.

Holly Riddle is a freelance food, travel and lifestyle writer. She can be reached at holly.ridd@gmail.com.