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Harvey's Restaurant Coming Soon to Former Stages Spot in Bridgeport

By Casey Cora | October 7, 2013 6:38am

BRIDGEPORT — The owner of a new neighborhood restaurant promises to serve his customers quality dishes at reasonable prices.

But don’t confuse "reasonable" with “cheap.”

“If I’m going to eat a burger, I want it to be a good burger, you know? I want good stuff. I want to be known for serving good food, not cheap food,” said Vegi Asani, who’s taking the former Stages restaurant and transforming it into Harvey’s.

Asani and manager Zeni Dardah, a longtime cook at Stages, have worked over the summer to install new booths, flooring and lights, as well as repaint the interior of the building at 657 W. 31st St.

The restaurant will be open in a week or two, after squaring away some last-minute business, like ordering more chairs, having the menus printed and recruiting more servers.

The pair said the menu will be similar to a pancake house: a huge breakfast menu, abundant lunch offerings (thinks wraps and paninis) plus a mix of old-school dinner favorites including beef stew, pot roast and corned beef and cabbage.

Also on offer will be a signature “Harvey Burger,” a half-pound patty smothered between two pieces of dark rye bread, plus the onion loaf, which consists of battered, deep fried onions squeezed into a pan and baked, then served upside down in loaf form.

“I don’t know if it’s the best thing for you, but it’s good,” Asani said.

For now, the plan is to operate 6 a.m.-10 p.m. daily, with expanded late-night hours on Friday and Saturday in the works. Carry out and delivery will be available.

Asani, who also owns a handful of suburban chain convenience stores, said the opening of Harvey’s will be a resurrection of Harvey’s Countryside Inn, a late-night restaurant co-owned by his uncle that enjoyed a decades-long run in the southwest suburb.

"Restaurants are still in the blood," he said.

As the grand opening draws closer, Asani, of Summit, just can't seem to the shake the idea of delivering value for his new customers.

The burger, for example, will sell for $8.95 and that includes fries and a bowl of soup.

“Not a cup of soup, a bowl” Asani said.