Like the drought relief from recent rains, Canyon Country’s thirst for more watering holes gets quenched by the arrival of new restaurants, especially those with crowd-pleasing flavors.
MJ’s Tap House Grill opened last month across the street from Home Depot, bringing more than just food and drink to our side of town. It is a big draw for sports fans (nine flat-screen TVs), and its unique “modern barbecue” recipes hit the table along with MJ’s signature offerings: craft beers.
About 95 percent of the beers come from local breweries, at least from the greater L.A. area, says Miguel Perez, who owns the bar with Iggy and Martha Trujillo. “I love craft beers. When I travel, I usually visit a local brewery. It’s growing so quickly as an industry,” Perez said. “And my passion has always been barbecuing.”
It is not a “Southern barbecue,” he explains. “We grill everything, not fried.”
The most popular offerings so far at the month-old restaurant are the tri-tip sandwich and the Iggy’s Burger,” which was, of course, a design of Iggy Trujillo. But the name, MJ’s Tap House Grill, came from Perez – that’s Miguel Jerome Perez.
In fact, the whole restaurant was Perez’ brainchild, including 14 craft beers on tap.
After 25 years in the mortgage servicing industry, including a vice president position at Bank of America, Perez left the corporate world because he always wanted to own a sports bar restaurant. He doesn’t have a food industry background, but his partners do – and they shared his vision.
Iggy has a full-time job and Martha works at MJ’s in management. Luckily, her brother, Luis Arturo Mojica, was a contractor, because the owners took a former pizza restaurant across the street from Home Depot and transformed it into the warm, industrial style that is MJ’s Tap House Grill.
The fact it was previously a pizza restaurant meant it only took about two to three months to convert the facility, instead of about eight, according to Perez.
“I knew the Canyon Country area didn’t have this type of restaurant either,” he said.
The individuals in the kitchen are applauded by Perez for their originality. “Our chef worked at a lot of breweries and incorporates a lot of the craft beers in his dishes,” he explains. “For example, he made a bread pudding and made chocolate syrup with a chocolate craft beer.”
Patrons come from all walks of life, made clear by the eyes on the multiple screens, plus the presence of eight high chairs. The menus offer salads and flatbreads for vegetarians to join the meat-lovers, and MJ’s can seat over 100 people when you include the patio.
The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; and Saturday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
MJ’s Tap House Grill is located at 20655 Soledad Canyon Road in Santa Clarita. Call (661) 250-7899 or visit MJstaphousegrill.com.