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Veteran chef opens Chaw Top Ridge restaurant in downtown Johnstown

Tribune-Democrat - 2/2/2024

Feb. 2—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — Brian Hill has been a professional cook for three decades.

He first learned basic culinary skills when serving in the Navy, which included time deployed during Operation Desert Storm in the early 1990s.

Since then, Hill has worked in many kitchens, even helping with the University of Pittsburgh at Johns-town's effort to feed weary people who were at the United Airlines Flight 93 crash site during the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

And, on Thursday, Hill's culinary journey took yet another major step when he finally opened his own restaurant, Chaw Top Ridge, located at the 416 Main Street complex in downtown Johnstown.

"After 30 years of cooking, you should be ready to own your own business," said Hill, while grilling some burgers and cheesesteaks. "I truly just love cooking, to be honest with you. I really do."

He said owning a business downtown is "actually something I've been looking forward to for a while."

"I think everything happens for the right reason and at the right time," he said. "It was the right time for me. I didn't want to miss the opportunity because I knew someone else would be taking advantage of it. It was a good opportunity for me to make some cash and still love doing what I'm doing. Not too many people can say that."

His takeout-only restaurant is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The menu consists of salads, sandwiches, burgers, wings, soups and shareables.

"This area, I think it calls for this type of menu," Hill said.


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