The Boomerang Bar & Grill’s namesake is really the only piece of the restaurant’s imagery that honors owner Chris Loxas’ Australian heritage.
“I wasn’t trying to go Outback on everybody,” Loxas says, referring to the chain of steakhouse restaurants. “I said, ‘What the hell, I’m Australian. Name it something that’s going to be Aussie.’
“So, Boomerang Bar and Grill – once you go, you come back,” he adds, toying with a possible tagline.
Loxas, whose family also runs the Summit Family Restaurant in Camp Hill and Hershey Road Family Restaurant in Harrisburg, points out to the spacious deck area where a bald eagle statue sits in the middle of umbrellas and tables. He says maybe one day he’ll put a statue of Skippy the Kangaroo next to it.
“This is my home – and Australia’s my home,” he says.
At the beginning of May, customers were treated to a party on the deck – complete with lawn games and tunes by The Luv Gods’ vocalist Shea Quinn – thrown in honor of the beautiful weather and Boomerang’s first few weeks of business. Quinn will continue to rock the deck every other Wednesday this summer, while Jason Carst of Save the City takes over on Thursdays. Manager Christine Vasiliades is planning to have a regular act for Sundays as well.
Loxas says the deck was one of a few deciding factors when he and his father, Nick, were looking into buying Boomerang, which was formerly Doc Holliday’s.
“It’s pretty much a complex,” Loxas says. “We met the owners and they were pretty good dudes. We got a feel of what went wrong and what went right at the time – because this place was rockin’ back then, when it was Doc Holliday’s. It just felt like this was an opportunity.”
Loxas says another positive factor was the location. Boomerang is conveniently located right off the Limekiln Road exit on Interstate 83 near New Cumberland. Vasiliades says a bright sign is coming soon, so even weary travelers from out of state will have no problem finding the joint.
Boomerang boasts a nicely curated beer menu that currently ranges from summer staple Franziskaner to the heavyweight Oskar Blues G’Knight Imperial Red Ale. Local brewers are represented including Tröegs Sunshine Pils and Liquid Hero Irregardless IPA. The list is rounded out by a few less obvious summer choices, like Duclaw’s X-10 saison and 21st Amendment’s Hell or High Watermelon.
If you’re in the mood for something stronger, the bar also offers 32-ounce Boomerang Buckets, large-format cocktails, which have become increasingly popular since the launch party, Vasiliades says. The Rockin’ Root Beer Float is the current favorite and includes Pinnacle Whipped Vodka, Sprecher’s Hard Root Beer and Bailey’s Irish Cream.
The food menu offers a comforting mix of standard pub fare, but there are plenty of enticing choices. The Boomerang Burger really hits the spot – it’s a juicy steak burger with cherry wood bacon, barbecue sauce, cheddar jack cheese, onion rings, lettuce and tomato. Also, keep an eye out for rotating lunch special burger variations – like the Outback Aussie Burger, which includes a fried egg. Vasiliades says there’s really no signature dish, but the hand-breaded Southern-style chicken tenders will get the job done just fine.
Once the dining room is remodeled (including a 25-seat bar in addition to more booth and table seating) Boomerang will be able to accommodate more than 650 customers throughout its footprint. Vasiliades expects the renovations to be completed just in time for football season, so fans can congregate at the sports bar area and shoot pool in the game room, while families and those looking for a nice sit-down meal unwind in the dining area.
And don’t forget, if you need a night full of laughs, Boomerang also includes The Harrisburg Comedy Club, which is also getting a makeover this summer.
“Instead of going in with a specific plan, we wanted to wait and see,” Vasiliades says about Boomerang’s continuing evolution. “We’re different. We offer a lot of things others don’t. We have a comedy club, we have a deck, we have a sports bar, we have a restaurant. We have something no one else in this area has. So, for us, we can probably do anything, and it will be OK.”
• 110 Limekiln Road, New Cumberland
• Monday-Thursday, 11-1 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11-2 a.m.; and Sunday, 12-11 p.m.