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By Sterling McGinn

Paradise is home to a new restaurant with a maritime theme and local flavor.

The Wheelhouse Diner and Goatlocker Saloon officially opened to diners on April 1 of this year.

Owners Jack and Renee Grimes decided that the Paradise area needed another eating establishment to handle the thousands of visitors that flock to the area in the summer, and a gathering place for locals.

They started construction on their new adventure in 2017. “The building was built throughout the winter, and the framework finished in February of 2018,” Renee explained.

Guests to the restaurant will experience a maritime feel, which is a familiar subject to the Grimes. Jack and Renee have been area residents since 1994. Originally from Grand Haven, Mich., the couple started a shipwreck diving company and started bringing customers up to Paradise for diving.

“We fell in love with the area,” Renee said.

“We are captains for a private motor yacht, and have been in the marine business for 20 years,” she said.

The venue serves meals during breakfast, lunch and dinner and will be open year-round. A wide variety of appetizers, along with burgers, sandwiches, desserts and other options are available on the menu.

The building is made up of two parts; the Wheel House Diner, and the Goatlocker Saloon. The front portion is strictly a diner, and the back area is the bar and restaurant.

Guests might wonder just how the Goatlocker Saloon received its name. Before the days of modern ships, sailors traveling long distances kept goats aboard their vessels as a source of comfort. Chief Petty Officers were given the same sleeping quarters as the goats, and it became an area to escape from other crew and officers. Signs explaining what a goat locker is are posted along the walls of the restaurant and saloon.

The restaurant also features an outside dining area, where the Grimes plan to eventually serve hotdogs and brats. Renee said that they would also like to host live entertainment and day functions in the outdoor area.

The owners and staff of the Wheelhouse Diner and Goatlocker Saloon are ready to offer guests a selection of their food and beverages. You will find the establishment on M-123, just before the light in Paradise.