MHS grad opens new restaurant at Beckham Hotel

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After working for years helping others achieve success with their restaurants, 2011 Mineola High graduate Logan Belcher has returned to his hometown to launch his own enterprise – an eatery fittingly called Logan’s Place.

The restaurant, opening for breakfast, lunch and dinner, occupies the space that formerly housed Taste Buds in the historic Beckham Hotel on Commerce Street. From its 130-year-old tile floor on up to its high, patterned ceiling, the restaurant radiates a bygone era reminiscent of the 1920s.

Belcher credits the motif to his wife, Morgan Walker Belcher.

She generally has a modern taste, but this space called out for something different, giving her “the opportunity to do a more Victorian, 1920s style,” Logan said.

The restaurant’s front area offers seating in early 20th century-style furniture, and numerous framed pieces grace its tall white walls.

“She’s been to probably 100 thrift stores,” said Belcher. Her eye for framed art and photos lends an almost gallery-like quality to the décor.

While Morgan attended to the restaurant’s ambiance, Logan was overhauling its kitchen and devising a menu. Belcher sees Logan’s Place as a cut above casual and a notch below a fine dining experience. It will offer beer and wine. He describes his fare as “classic Americana with a twist.” He wants customers to regard the food at Logan’s Place as fairly priced, and he expects it to be excellent – the first time and every time. That’s why, he said, “I need to be married” to the kitchen.

Ideally, Belcher would float between the kitchen and the dining area, keeping an eye on food preparation while also greeting guests and making sure they’re happy with their experience. Until he finds the right person to man the kitchen, however, he’ll “be married” to it, making sure every dish comes out with his stamp of approval.

“I’d rather start off strong and just keep getting better than starting off weak and have a slow rise. Once people get a bad taste in their mouth, they don’t want to come back,” he explained.

Belcher got his start in the restaurant business working as a teenager in Mineola at places such as Pizza Hut and Golden Chick. After a brief stint as a painter, he returned to the food business as an employee of the chain restaurant Cheddars, rebranded later as Scratch Kitchen. While working there, he learned multiple facets of the industry. He learned how to launch new restaurants and troubleshoot at under-performing locations.

A few years ago, the opportunity arose to help launch Sidekicks Bar & Grill in Emory, which attracted so many customers that a larger, 20,000-square-foot location had to be opened. He worked long hours making the place a success.

Now, Belcher is ready to work long hours again, banking on his knowledge and experience to make Logan’s Place a success. He views Logan’s Place as a long-term investment – one that he believes will offer returns.

“I’m betting on myself,” said Belcher. “I’ve done this before.”

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