New owner takes Salem Century ‘Underground’
Rob Thornburg brings a familiar name back to Henry County’s roster of restaurateurs – but he’s taking it “Underground.”
A chef and chef trainer for more than two decades in Virginia, he has purchased the Salem Century Bar and Grill and renamed it the Underground. The “Underground” name is a bow to Salem’s Lewelling House, a tourist attraction today that was an integral stop on the Civil War era “Underground Railroad” for escaped slaves, he said.
The son of the late Bob Thornburg, long-time head chef at the Iris Restaurant, he is purchasing the business from his aunt and uncle, Charles and Teresa Kramer. His mother and Charles Kramer’s sister, Linda Kramer, a recently retired tax attorney, also has moved back to the Salem community.
Thornburg plans some remodeling and adding some additional items to the menu in coming weeks. Already popular is a prime rib night held the second Friday of each month, he said.