For the better part of two decades, Tim Hersh had been looking for a business venture that could include the entire family.
Him and his wife, Amanda, believe they found the ideal setup for themselves and their six children through the recent purchase of Shadows Restaurant and Pub, 6767 Shadow Ridge Place. The children, ages 6-18, routinely can be seen at the restaurant helping out in age-appropriate roles.
“We wanted to be able to give the kids the opportunity to learn what it’s like working shoulder to shoulder with their family, and not just video gaming or being glued to a screen and playing the whole day away," Amanda said. "That’s kind of important to us, our family works hard – that’s what we do.”
The Hershes took over the popular eatery on Oct. 1 after its previous owners decided to step away into retirement and spend more time with their husbands, the Hershes said. Originally, they learned about the opportunity from their son’s mother-in-law when they were living in Falls City, where Tim served as mayor from 2010-2014.
In Falls City, Tim operated his own construction firm while balancing his mayoral responsibilities. In 2016, he decided to pursue a different career path and attended culinary school at a Kansas City, Missouri, institute. Cooking, he said, was always something that piqued his interest.
“I kind of dabbled in cooking through the military and through the police world, and then when I was mayor in Falls City I decided to make another change so I could get into the culinary world," Tim said. "I’ve always had a passion for it.”
Once he completed his culinary schooling, it was simply a matter of waiting for the right opportunity to present itself. Columbus, he said, provided that opportunity in the form of the business being available at the right time and the city rapidly developing.
“We (previously) kind of got to see some of the community, we heard this area was expanding as far as new development and houses and we saw the bypass (Lost Creek Parkway) which very soon will probably be filled up with business. It looks like it’s getting filled up as we speak …
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“It’s a prime location – a little bit of a drive up; however, the city is growing around it so eventually it won’t even be much of a drive for people who live around here.”
With the new ownership, several fan favorites remain. However, Tim said he was forced to shake up the menu to a certain degree to ensure that it was in sync with his staff’s size and abilities. Those looking for burgers, slider varieties, from-scratch pasta, prime rib, shrimp and chicken fried steak can swing by the restaurant at 5 p.m. or after Tuesday through Saturday. Reservations can be made by calling 402-563-4040.
One of the pushes being made by the Shadows’ owners is incorporating vegan and vegetarian-friendly food options. The veggie burger is quickly becoming a favorite of those who don’t incorporate meat into their diet.
“It comes with a gluten-free vegan bun, and then obviously lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle are all vegan,” Tim said. “… And the burger we use actually tastes like you are eating a burger. If you would put them side by side, personally, I would choose the plant-based one.”
So far, the Hershes said that business has been going well. There have been some of the normal ups and downs and learning moments associated with any new business undertaking, but the couple said purchasing the restaurant has proven to be a solid investment.
Tim and Amanda now want to share with the community their passion – a family-friendly atmosphere with a whole lot of good eats.
“Our little saying is, ‘It’s worth the drive to the country,’” Tim said.
Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com.