When Hans Dokl opened Dokl’s Meat Market in 2017, part of his plan was to also open a restaurant someday. The plan became a reality when Dokl opened Dokl’s Grill & Catering next door to his popular meat market, 4615 W River Dr.in Comstock Park, a little over a month ago. He said business is good.
“Business has been better than expected, especially with opening during a pandemic,” said Dokl. “We had plans of opening a small restaurant since we opened the meat market, but the space was not available at that point. We always saw a need for a smaller place that serves breakfast and or lunch in this area.”
The menu features specialty sandwiches and burgers, house made soups, salads, and daily specials. Dokl is originally from Austria where he trained to be a certified chef, and he offers Austrian and German food like the Wiener Schnitzel Sandwich, the Bratwurst Sandwich, and Hungarian Gulasch Suppe. Sides include sauerkraut and Austrian potato salad, as well as fries. He offers take-out and catering. In the meat market there is fresh beef, pork, and chicken as well as house made brats, kielbasa, and other sausages. There’s stuffed chicken on occasion and fresh fish, as well as convenience items. He doesn’t serve breakfast at this time in the grill, but customers can get muffins and sweet breads, made by Dokl’s wife Donna, to have with their coffee.
“We plan on serving breakfast starting early summer when we are able to have seating outside and hopefully the pandemic is somewhat under control,” he said adding, “All items we sell and serve are local to Michigan.
The Grill has a clean, modern feel with grey walls, black tables, and black chairs with wood backs. Dokl said he wants people to “feel at home when they enter either business.” There are four employees. Dokl’s wife Donna, who is the director of hospitality at the Railside Golf Club in Byron Center, did all the decorating.
“She just did it with items she liked,” said Dokl. “When we decided to move forward with the Grill, we wanted to decorate with old Comstock Park pictures, but after we contacted local historians and life-long Comstock Park residents, and did research at the Library, we were not able to find enough pictures of good quality. Maybe down the road there will be someone coming forward with pictures for us to use or duplicate.”
After completing his chef’s training, Dokl worked at hotels and restaurants in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland before moving to Michigan in 1987 to work as a chef at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. He lived on the Island during the summer and worked as a chef in a variety of states during the winter before moving to the Grand Rapids area to take the position of executive chef and director of food service at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.
Dokl and his wife, who is from Comstock Park, live in Comstock Park. They have a son, 14, who is a freshman at Comstock Park High School and helps at the grill and market, and a son, 22, who works full time at the meat market. When they aren’t working, which Dokl says is seldom, the family enjoys boating, camping, and fishing.