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DailyTidings.com
  • ASHLAND BUSINESS

    Campus Grill has got the goods

    Deep-fried mac and cheese burgers are just the tip of the iceberg at Ashland Street eatery
  • Say hello to sweet and spicy barbecue bacon fries and deep-fried mac and cheese burgers.
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  • Say hello to sweet and spicy barbecue bacon fries and deep-fried mac and cheese burgers.
    Ashland's newest place to grab food on the go will cater to students and feature fast burgers, dogs and specialty fries.
    Campus Grill opened Thursday at 1690 Ashland St., in the former location of Happy Falafel, and features a small, inexpensive menu of grub.
    Owners Susan and Rick Krebs are confident the eatery will catch on with locals, much like their other business, downtown's RedZone Sports Bar and Grill, which opened in 2011.
    "We've had a lot of support from the community — good feedback and encouragement," said Susan Krebs.
    Campus Grill has a smaller, simpler menu than RedZone, a product of the small kitchen and tight space at the location.
    The Krebses squeezed in four tables for a seating area, and plan to add picnic seating outside like there was at Happy Falafel, which closed over the summer.
    Customers can stick with a basic hot dog, burger or french fries, or spice things up with a handful of recurring ingredients — bacon, cheese, chili and onions, to name a few.
    "Because of the space, we needed something quick and easy," said Susan Krebs.
    "It took us a while to fine tune the food we wanted to do," said Rick Krebs, adding that repeating ingredients was key for the small kitchen space.
    He said that a few menu items were similar to those at RedZone, but most were new ideas developed by the couple and Sean Halliday, a RedZone chef who is taking the reins as manager and head chef at the new location.
    All of the a la carte items on the menu cost less than $10, with a basic dog selling for $3.99 and a basic burger for $4.99. Turkey and vegetarian patties also are available.
    "We needed to keep the price point down to appeal to the younger demographic," said Rick Krebs, adding that they hope for lots of customers from the new dorm complex at Southern Oregon University and from Ashland High School students.
    A 10-percent discount is offered for students with an ID card.
    Susan Krebs said they are excited to serve younger people food, as RedZone has been limited to adults because of the bar.
    One of her favorite dishes on the new menu is "cinnamon toast fries," a boat of sweet potato fries with orange marshmallow cream sauce.
    "It's like a candy desert — really good," Susan Krebs said.
    The Krebs, who also own Tan Ashland next door, and Tan Medford, had their eye on the business space and had originally considered expanding the tanning salon. But a lackluster economy hasn't fueled the tanning industry as quickly as the couple had hoped, and a food establishment seemed like a more lucrative opportunity.
    Rick Krebs, who also works in construction, had the kitchen wall brought forward about four feet to provide more room for the cooks, and the couple picked a light orange color for most of the walls to add the feeling of more space.
    Campus Grill is open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    Teresa Ristow is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Email her at teresa.ristow@gmail.com.
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