by Megan Combs
When you walk into Copley’s newest family restaurant, you’ll notice one thing is missing: big-screen TVs.
“When you’re here, it’s not about a big screen,” says Twisted Grill & Grind owner Julianna Trunko. “It’s about family and family interaction.”
Julianna, who is also the owner of the Southern Thangs food truck, celebrated the grand opening of Twisted on Dec. 15. She says she didn’t expect her food truck season to begin in a brick and mortar building.
“The owner of this building came to me and said, ‘You have to do this,’” she smiles. “He joked that I didn’t have a choice. And Copley has really supported me and my truck. Plus, it’s my home.”
When she was approached about opening the restaurant — which was formerly an Italian restaurant and most recently Copley Coffee & Games — she recalls going to Copley’s farm market and taking a minute for herself. As she sat in the middle of the market eating a piece of fresh corn, all the other vendors gathered around her and said, “We’ve got you.”
Julianna collects herself as she remembers this moment. “They said if I opened it, they would support me. And they always have. It’s wonderful.”
Twisted Grill’s menu features a little bit of everything for everyone, and it recently added a breakfast and lunch service. Julianna’s dinner service includes everything from alligator sub sandwiches to burgers, wings and golumpki (stuffed cabbage). Her breakfast selection includes chicken and waffles, steak and eggs, stuffed french toast, and more. Lunch boasts Smash Salads, where a giant tortilla bowl serves as the croutons, as well as burgers and pizza.
And for dessert? A full ice cream bar and stuffed funnel cakes. She even serves a variety of coffee and soda drinks.
“Copley desperately needed a place to come to get good food and still be a part of the community,” Julianna says. “We want this place to be about family and friends, which is why you don’t see any TVs.”
The outside of the building still holds its Old World Italy charm, but the inside is cozy and warm, almost like you’ve been invited into someone’s living room. There are large, family-sized tables, high-tops and four-seater tables. The back corner of the restaurant features a mom’s corner, which includes low lighting, a rocking chair, a leather couch, a smaller table for kids and a chalkboard. She has a selection of children’s books and toys, too.
Julianna, a mother to three sons, said she has gotten positive feedback from area moms about the corner, and the community has been grateful for a place to gather and unwind.
“They love it,” she says. “They love the family atmosphere and they like the refreshed look. It took a lot of painting, and I made an effort to bring the outside in with my decor, but I’m so happy to be here.”
Julianna has plans to add more to Twisted, including getting her liquor license and building an updated outdoor patio.
In addition to operating the restaurant, Julianna will continue to run her Southern Thangs food truck and she plans to open another food truck under the Twisted name this summer. That food truck will serve waffles in every way imaginable: traditional breakfast waffles, waffle sandwiches, waffle salads, stuffed waffles and loads and loads of toppings.
And on top of everything, Julianna is a police officer for the Wakeman Police Department in Huron County. She’s worked there for the last 18 years.
Despite all that, she still carries a smile and a bright look toward the future.
“I love it,” she says. “My saying is that we’re all a little twisted, but in the end, we’re always family. And I think that describes Copley, too.”
Twisted Grill & Grind’s winter hours are:
Sunday 10 am-9 pm
Monday through Saturday 7 am-9 pm
The restaurant is located at 1442 S. Cleveland-Massillon Rd.
Megan couldn’t be more excited about Copley gaining a coffee and ice cream presence again.
Photo: Julianna Trunko celebrates Twisted Grill & Grind’s grand opening at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Dec. 15. (Used with permission from Allison Chrien.)