It’s a common story: a successful restaurant sees an opportunity to grow and opens a second location.
A second location is always a risk because it means trying to replicate the old in a new location with a new staff.
When it works, though, it’s a great thing.
The owners of Klinger’s of Fleetwood are trying to replicate the success of Klinger’s on Carsonia in Mount Penn.
The new Klinger’s, is in a prime location in the heart of Fleetwood borough, along Route 662 (East Main Street). It’s the site of the former Simmeria Cafe and Fleetwood Grille, which closed abruptly at the beginning of the year.
When it opened in spring, it was called Klinger’s Fleetwood Grille. In September, it was rebranded to Klinger’s of Fleetwood with a new menu and management.
The restaurant’s building is just a little awkward. It’s actually two narrow buildings that are connected. We entered off the parking lot and were led around the corner, through the dining area and to a high-top table in the bar area.
Around the room are various pieces of Cadillac memorabilia, commemorating the old Fleetwood Body Works that was once located in town.
I was happy to see that the menu was not a carbon copy of Klinger’s on Carsonia. I spent many Monday nights playing sports trivia and eating my way through that menu so new is good.
One of the only-in-Fleetwood items is the chicken and broccoli Parmesan.
This wasn’t a typical chicken parm. First, the chicken was grilled, not fried (fine by me). Second, the sauce wasn’t a typical marinara. Instead, it was much creamier, closer to a rosé sauce.
Finally, there were two big florets of broccoli on top.
I was definitely a fan. It was a very different dish than I expected, but I really liked the sauce choice. I thought it went well with the grilled chicken. And the broccoli, while unnecessary, was a nice touch.
The description was a bit deceiving though as it said the dish was served atop a bed of smashed potatoes. There were smashed potatoes on the plate, but they were on the side.
Smashed potatoes are trendy right now. The potato skins are left on, and the potatoes are not whipped as smooth as mashed potatoes. Klinger’s version was good, but nothing remarkable.
What was remarkable was the broccoli slaw, served as the vegetable of the day on our visit. Loved the broccoli in the creamy base, and the bacon on top was a nice touch.
Julie went with one of Klinger’s burgers, available at both locations. It’s called the “Dirty Burger” and it comes topped with peppered bacon, American cheese and a fried egg.
It was her first time trying a burger with an egg on it, and she enjoyed it.
Klinger’s knows pub food so the burgers are always good. This was no exception. Bacon and eggs always go well together. Throw them on a burger and it’s hard to go wrong.
The side of fresh-cut fries were perfect, too.
I would have loved to have tried a dessert. Caramel apple bread pudding and s’mores crème brulee were tempting, but there was just no room left at the end of the meal.
So we closed out our $30 check and called it a night after dinner.
Klinger’s of Fleetwood is a successful sequel, but like any great franchise, you have to go for the trilogy.
That’s exactly what Klinger’s is doing as they prepare to open their third restaurant, Klinger’s at the Airport.
Personally, I can’t wait to try it.
Klinger’s of Fleetwood
24 E. Main St