Jay & Mary Matson, owners of Galesburg’s Packinghouse Dining Company, announced their retirement from the restaurant business last June after 33 years. At that time the historic former Swift & Co facility at 441 Mulberry Street was leased to Todd Erling’s Chop House, but it closed as of January 1.
The Matsons are pleased to announce that they have completed a long-term agreement with Kevin Cerar of Monmouth, owner of Cerar’s Barnstomer Steakhouse and Petey’s Pub & Grill. Under the arrangement, Kevin has acquired all of the recipes and proprietory information of the former Packinghouse business. Additionally, the rights to use the trade name, the Packinghouse, have been transferred.
Jay Matson said, “We are pleased and flattered that Kevin wants to lead a rebirth of the Packinghouse. Many people in the region will welcome the return of the signature items, thecinnamon rolls, salad bar and slow-roasted prime rib. He’ll bring the energy of a new generation to the restaurant. And with his proven success in Monmouth, he’ll bring his own signature items, as well.”
Petey’s Pub & Grill is known for its smoked barbeque brisket sandwich and fried chicken. The Barnstormer, renowned for its steaks and fresh salmon, has a Cerar family history dating back to 1986, with a regional popularity like that of the Packinghouse.
Kevin Cerar was brought up in the restaurant business under the tutelage of his father, Bernie. The family has another generation in the business with Kevin’s daughter, April, who assists him at Petey’s. His oldest son, Nick, serves in the Navy, and his daughter, Amanda, is a student at Monmouth College.
Mary Matson said, “I’m happy that there will be jobs created by Kevin’s new Packinghouse. I think he’ll be great for the community. He understands the local area and will deliver a quality customer experience.”
The restaurant will be refurbished and re-opened by April.