Jeffersonville restaurant The Portage House, 117 E Riverside Dr, changed ownership over the weekend as one of the previous owners Paul Skulas continues work on his new concept, Couvillion, in the former Finn’s space at the Germantown Lofts. Doers Restaurant Group, which Skulas was an investor in, decided to sell Portage House after Skulas started work on his new project. The group still owns Parlor Pizza in Jeffersonville, 131 W Chestnut St.
“When we started this [Couvillion] in February, this [selling Portage House] wasn’t even on the table,” said Skulas, who left Portage House in January. “It was a few months of meetings to plan what was best for everyone.It was a difficult decision but ended on ‘ which did I feel more comfortable with’: Jeffersonville or Germantown.”
The new owners, Dallas and Laura McGarity, bought the Fat Lamb, 2011 Grinstead Dr., about one and a half years ago and are looking forward to this new adventure.
“It’s so exciting, but it happened so quickly so I’m trying to gather my thoughts,” said McGarity. “The opportunity came up and I was shocked, because I’ve heard such good things about it. I know good people over there, and everyone says such good things. I think they didn’t want to have two restaurants that close together, and Paul’s got the new concept going in Germantown. I looked at it, all the numbers were good, and it worked out well.”
McGarity has been a chef for 22 years and has worked at restaurants like Volare, Z’s Fusion, and Marketplace. He will be executive chef for both the Fat Lamb and Portage House and has hired chef de cuisine Tim Piper for Portage House.
There will be a few changes with the transfer of ownership. The name will remain the same, but the new hours will be 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. They will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
“I’m going to change the menu, but I’m not really going to change the decor,” McGarity explained. “We’ll stick to the southern flair, but we are going to mix in some Asian ingredients. I like playing with that: the sweet and the salty and the rich and fatty going on in the Southern stuff.”