Frank Slaman has worked as a coal miner and a painter. He is handy with tools, too.
His latest venture, running a restaurant, is something altogether different.
"If I had known it would be this much fun to do this, I would have done this 20 years ago," said Slaman, 46.
"We've jumped in up to our knees," he jokes about Roni's, the pizza and Italian restaurant he and partners Bill Turner and Jay Rexroad opened a few months ago in the Credes Landing shopping center at Elkview.
The partners knew they wanted to offer good, homemade pizza right off the bat, along with some sandwiches, salads and a full-service bar. From there, the possibilities are endless.
"We wanted to crawl before we walked and walk before we ran," Slaman said.
The other thing the partners knew they wanted was a place where folks could come and enjoy a good drink, but not a bar that was open into the wee hours. This spring, they have plans to open a back patio where they'll offer live music. But they insist this is a place that will close up at midnight.
"Nothing good happens after midnight and our employees have lives, too," Slaman said.
The restaurant is located in a brand-new building and that allowed partners to finish it their way, with custom wood trims and a wooden drop ceiling from Cross Lanes Acoustics that gives the restaurant a warm feeling. Slaman did the painting, and they recruited local artists to contribute to the decor, including original paintings by Sherry Rowan.
Several flat-screen televisions encourage traffic on game days, and Slaman said the place is packed when West Virginia University is playing an away game.