When Owen Schmitt played football for the Mountaineers, he had a reputation as a hard-nosed player.
He was the kind of guy who would break face masks, hit a helmet over his own head, but now he's making food. He's a restaurateur and a business connoisseur at Schmitt's Saloon and Davisson Brothers Music Hall and he hasn't lost any of that hard edge.
A sports bar lined with reclaimed barn wood and tin from around West Virginia lets all visitors know this won't be like their typical burger and wing joint. Schmitt came up with the idea along with the Davisson Brothers, a band he's been playing with for five years now since his playing days at WVU.
At night, they transform the place into a concert venue with local acts taking the stage at least three nights a week.
"It's a fun environment," says Schmitt. "It's a very relaxed atmosphere and when we have live music and shows, it just adds to the whole presence of the saloon."
The doors just opened a few weeks ago, so they're still working to build a solid foundation, but with a unique menu that includes items like the Beer Truck Burger, facemask fries and bourbon deviled eggs, Owen's hoping to get a group of regulars coming back early and often.
"I don't want just standard bar and restaurant food. I want some good, quality food that people come in and can enjoy and want to come back," says Schmitt.
Plus, there's a wing challenge. Eat three of the hottest wings you'll ever try and sit in misery for five minutes while you savor the burn with nothing else to eat or drink. If you make it, you'll get an autographed picture with the runaway beer truck himself to hang on the "Wall of Flame."
Owen and I did it together and I can tell you from experience, it's a doozy. If you want to watch the horror, check it out at this link.
Schmitt's Saloon and Davisson Brothers Music Hall is located at 245 Cheat Road in Morgantown and is open for lunch and dinner.