Highline Restaurant is back open for business

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

After a several month closure, Highline Restaurant & Lounge on Baltimore Street has reopened and is alive and well with some new additions including a partnership between owner Kim Robinson and executive chef John Wassil.

Robinson said she had not originally planned to reopen the restaurant but when she was contacted by Wassil and saw they had the same vision and goals, it just worked.

"He wanted to be invested in the business as well and is a co-owner," said Robinson.

Wassil is originally from Fayetteville and received his culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts in Pittsburgh.

He recently moved back to the area after spending eight years in Pittsburgh and three at a restaurant in the Bethesda, Maryland area.

Wassil has a vegan and vegetarian background and has been featured in Bethesda Magazine's Inked edition and Linda Long's cookbook, "Virgin Vegan."

He competed on the Food Network's show, "Beat Bobby Flay" and is currently in the process of auditioning to be on the network's other hit show, "Chopped".

Passion for the culinary arts runs in his family as his father, Richard Wassil, previously owned Molly Pitcher Waffle Shop in Chambersburg.

"This is the first restaurant that I have actually gotten to open with Kim as my partner," said Wassil. "We're getting great reviews and our passion to work together is more above recognition because we can see eye-to-eye on the future and how we want to support the community. To be the only local and sustainable restaurant in the community."

Being a local and sustainable restaurant means they use locally grown, organic produce and meats.

The restaurant reopened June 16 and some revamps have been made to the menu, including an emphasis on providing vegan and vegetarian options for diners.

"John has been able to cater foods toward people who are vegan, vegetarian or eat gluten-free," said Robinson, who added that the popular lump crab cakes are gluten-free because there is no added filler.

Wassil said they are hoping to offer a separate menu in the near future featuring seasonal vegan and vegetarian options.

Some other food highlights include the filets, short ribs, sea scallops and fresh fish.

In addition to the food options, the bar is stocked with six craft beers on tap and a large variety of craft and domestic beers by the bottle

"We're trying to add a little twist by making classic cocktails more modern," said Wassil. "For example, we use jam made from a local garden in the "firebox" cocktail."

The cocktails, some of which are railroad themed, are hand-made with premium liquor and freshly squeezed juice.

The restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating with private rooms and an outdoor covered patio and courtyard, along with space for private events, bridal showers and receptions.

During Old Home Week, the restaurant plans to offer a special limited menu with items such as crab cakes and fish features.

"The reason we are planning to do the limited menu is to offer our quality features at a faster pace to convenience the guests visiting downtown during Old Home Week," said Robinson.

Robinson said they are currently in the process of updating their website and it can be viewed at http://www.thehighlinerestaurant.com

Hours for Highline Restaurant & Lounge are Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and closed on Sunday.