“Most people who have worked downtown remember The Lunch Box,” Elder said. “When I heard it was closed, I asked Ed Strawn, the owner and chef, to come help us out.”

Strawn has taken over managing the back of house operations, including cooking. Elder said the experience Strawn brings already has brought additional quality and stability to the operation.

The name change effectively separates Elder’s restaurant from his ex-business partners, Angelo and Philip Custino, owners of the similarly named Custino’s Restaurant and Bar. A dispute between the former friends had resulted in the creation of a rival restuarant.

Elder said Italian dishes are still available, but that beloved Lunch Box items will begin to appear on the menu over the coming months.

“I always thought of Ed’s food as retro comfort food,” he said. “I worked downtown for 12 years, and I ate at The Lunch Box almost every day for those 12 years. We’ve already used Ed’s beef stew on one of our catering jobs, and we’d like to include more of the old Lunch Box dishes, like the chili and corned beef and cabbage.

“Eventually, we’d like to say that we’re the home of The Lunch Box specials.”

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