Nash Gee has worked with chefs in Napa Valley and at Saybrook Point Inn, but when Killingworth's newest restaurant opens its door today customers can expect the unexpected.
Gee's restaurant, American Fusion, will offer Tex-Mex and barbeque, a combination that he says amounts to American comfort food.
“Killingworth provided an opportunity for me to bring a unique food into this area,” Gee says with an entrepreneurial spirit hard to come by these days.
“People in this town mostly go for exotic food out of the town, to Clinton, to Madison. Not a whole lot of businesses are here and people don’t have many options."
Located at 206 Route 80, in a space previously occupied by Born in America Pizza Kitchen, American Fusion will offer catering, take-out and delivery.
Gee envisions a “slow start, working around the neighborhoods in the beginning and introducing new products.”
“I bring flavor to the people in the town and that’s why I have a variety of food. If people don’t want American they can have Tex-Mex,” he explains. “If they want a burrito they can have it, and if they want traditional barbeque I have that.”
Gee -- who lives Branford, grew up in Pakistan, and has called Napa Valley, CA home -- once owned a Tex-Mex and barbeque restaurant in Reno, NV.
He currently owns a Subway in Stratford as well as five contract delis.
“Food, sleep and shelter people need no matter how bad the economy is. The economy scares people but they still eat – maybe not as much as they used to but it doesn’t stop them," Gee says about his latest plan, describing his approach as offering customers a glass of champagne for the price of a beer.
“It’s not only for me to make money but I feel it’s my responsibility to give back to the community,” he adds.
Gee initially plans to hire six to seven employees, and possibly more in the future.
“I want them all locally hired because there are so many young people in the area looking for jobs. I would rather have people from this area trained the way I want them to be to work along with the food.”
Gee has an 18-foot truck completely equipped for catering which he plans to use for charity events such as those at Haddam-Killingworth High School.
“I don’t want to label myself as having a certain thing,” he said about his menu, which includes a “Pizza-dilla.”
“It’s a pizza but also a quesadilla. It’s like two pizzas – one on the bottom and one on the top – and you can add any topping. That is what one of my specialties is going to be.
“America offers more variety than even in Italy or France because we have all different food put together here. I want you to enjoy the food and the emotions of that food because that’s what it’s all about."
When American Fusion opens, only take-out, catering and delivery will be offered. But, in the near future, we may see seating in the space next door which is presently empty.
Gee has always wanted to have one or two big dining tables rather than individual tables.
"A community table provides people with the opportunity to talk with each other."
206 Route 80 - Killingworth, CT
Weekdays 11-9 p.m.
Weekends 11-10 p.m.
Delivery is free for those in Killingworth. There will be a charge for delivery to Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Higganum, Ivoryton and Madison.