HAMMOND -- The newly expanded Ras' on Main is now open on Davis Street, offering separate entrances for the dining room and bar.

The separation allows for a more family-friendly atmosphere for those coming in with children, owner Glen Rasmussen said.

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“It’s nice, peaceful and quiet,” he said. “Almost like a cafe setting.”

He was also able to add a pool table into the bar section, upping the experience in both areas.

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Work on the expansion started in April, and it officially opened at the end of October.

“The setup and design was a collective effort by my awesome staff,” Rasmussen said.

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His general manager and son, Tyler Rasmussen, and assistant manager Robert "Chico" Schaetzka were both big contributors to the work.

“It turned out really well,” Rasmussen said.

The new setup has received good reviews from customers. It has also helped the restaurant address COVID-19 safety concerns. The new dining area is spacious, allowing Rasmussen to space out tables and diners.

The restaurant is also deep cleaning regularly, staff wear masks, and Ras' on Main has a new air filtration system.

“Overall business has been good,” Rasmussen said.

Rasmussen opened the restaurant in 1996. The place has always been a family effort. His parents Cliff and Lenore Rasmussen and his in-laws Judy and Lyman Jensen support him when he was first opening the place, and his wife, Julie, daughter, Jessica, and son, Tyler, have all worked with him at times over the years.

He’s enjoyed being a part of the community all these 24 years and interacting with his customers. The community has shown Ras' on Main great support, especially during this difficult year. When the business had to close for eight weeks in March, customers called in with to-go orders.

“I’m pleasantly surprised and very happy with how our community has supported us,” Rasmussen said.

He enjoys the self-rewarding work of running a restaurant, knowing what he puts into it is what he gets out.

“We’ve always been known for our awesome food and our great atmosphere,” Rasmussen said.

With this expansion, he hopes to continue to build on that reputation.

“I’d like for it to be a place for people to go eat, whether or not they’re by themselves or with their family, with a great ambience,” he said.

In the future, Ras' on Main is also planning to expand its patio, doubling it in size and creating a nice outdoor setting. That is planned to be done in early spring.