ALTOONA, Pa (WTAJ)–Cook’s Kitchen, located at the former Phoenix Restaurant on Fourth Ave, held its grand opening on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Owner Christopher and Jennifer Cook bought Lajo’s Italian Market on Eighth Avenue in 2020, where they’ve since gained a loyal following. When their restaurant building went up for sale, they jumped at the opportunity to fulfill their aspirations of opening a family restaurant.

The restaurant pays tribute to the previous Phoenix restaurant that served the community good food dating back 150 years. When walking inside the restaurant, folks can see the site’s history. Cook said it was important that the neighborhood had this restaurant running.

“We feel this neighborhood needed this restaurant back. This has been an establishment here for 150 years from the hotel and the Phoenix,” Cook said. “There’s been many years of people coming here for good food. We felt it was a missing need. That was part of the reason why we wanted to open back up.”

The menu consists of a mixture of comfort food and Italian favorites. It’s compromised of Chris’s family and his chef’s original recipes.

That includes chicken cheesesteaks, lasagna, or buffalo chicken arancini all homemade. Additionally, more than 50% of their menu is gluten-free.

The restaurant opened its doors on Black Friday, and they’ve received positive reviews. They’re excited that people are coming through the doors and enjoying the food.

“We created a very exclusive recipe book that I’ve talked to my chefs and my cooking team of the stuff that I’ve made over the years,” Cook said. “Our chef he’s from Jamaica, so he has a lot of Caribbean heritage. So he has brought a lot of that flare into it.”

The restaurant is having a Valentine’s Day special. This is a $70 per couple with reservations at 4, 5, and 7:30 p.m. Couples get appetizers, two entrees, soup or salad, and two desserts. You can call the restaurant at 814-201-2930.

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The restaurant is open from Wednesdays through Saturdays 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.=. Then from Sunday brunch 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.