By Jacqueline G. Goodwin Ed.D.
During his lifetime, Dawson Flinchy, has worn several hats. He served in the Marine Corps for six years, sold life insurance, ran a horse farm, and headed a digital imaging business. He even became ordained so he could officiate a wedding, in Transylvania. So when his son Matt asked him to wear one more hat he couldn’t say “no.”
“In 2003, Matt came to me and said he had a great opportunity to open a restaurant in Camp Hill. He asked me, ‘What do you think?’ I said, ‘Let’s give it a try.’” Father and son seized the opportunity and on Nov. 10, 2003, Flinchy’s opened its doors.
“Matt had a lot of experience in the service and hospitality industry,” says Flinchy. “He left a position as a bartender and manager at a place in downtown Harrisburg to open our place so I was very comfortable about opening a restaurant.”
In 2004, father and son added the Train Wreck Deck to the building which ended up being great for business. During the warm months, patrons can relax outside while taking advantage of a 360 degree bar and table seating.
This past summer, the pair closed the interior of the restaurant for two months as they launched a total makeover.
“Our revamped design includes new paint, new flooring and a made-over bar that has helped give Flinchy’s a fresh appearance,” says the elder Flinchy. “This is a new beginning. This is the new Flinchy’s. A new face but with the same quality food and service.”
One of Flinchy’s signature items is the “Hot Rock” where diners can choose from a list of items including lobster, diver scallops, shrimp and steak to cook on a hot volcanic stone at their table, a very unique and exciting dining concept.
“Hot Rock dining means your dinner is served on a volcanic stone and you complete the cooking to your liking,” says Flinchy. “It’s not just a meal. It’s an adventure in dining.”
Flinchy’s is also known for its Famous Bloody Mary and its “Brunch in a Glass,” a Martini with bacon, celery, olives, lime, shrimp and grilled cheese.
“We have a fully stocked bar with 12 beers on tap and a great selection of craft beer and IPAs,” says Flinchy. “Monday is ‘Martini Madness’ featuring $5 martinis.”
The restaurant is also known nationally for its award winning chili and lobster and crab soups.
Need help planning a party? Flinchy’s catering services include corporate events, parties, special events, weddings, rehearsal dinners, wedding receptions, and off-site private parties. Flinchy’s also provides catered business lunches and box lunches.
You can also enjoy live entertainment at Flinchy’s. You will find local acoustic music on most Wednesdays and Fridays and DJs spinning all of today’s biggest songs on Thursdays, in addition to Trivia contests starting at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays. Check out Flinchy’s website at www.flinchys.com for more information and to sign up for Flinchy’s newsletter so you won’t miss out on special events.
While Dawson Flinchy has poured a lot of drinks and served a lot of food in the fifteen years that he’s been in the business with his son, he says it’s not the beer, cocktails or cuisine that has made his role as a restaurant owner so rewarding; it’s the people he’s met along the way. And during the fifteen years he’s been in business, he has made regulars and newcomers feel welcome.
“Over the years I’ve met a lot of great people who have become very good friends,” he says.
“A lot of our customers are regulars who have been coming to Flinchy’s since we opened. I’m rich in friends and fellowship, and that’s by choice.”
He also says he’s become a tour leader of sorts, sponsoring “Flinchy’s Trips,” for those wanting to join him on travel adventures that have included trips to Vietnam, Cuba, Africa and Dubai. And if you’re wondering about the wedding in Transylvania, Flinchy says, “The wedding I officiated was held in Dracula’s Castle on Halloween night with guests in costumes. It was a blast.”
Flinchy’s is located at 1833 Hummel Ave Camp Hill, PA 17011. Hours: Open seven days a week. Monday – Friday, 11a.m. to 2 a.m. Full Menu til 9 p.m., Deck Menu til 10 p.m. Thursday – Saturday, 12 noon – 2 a.m., Full Menu til 10 p.m., Deck menu til 11 p.m. Reservations accepted. 717-761-9000. www.flinchys.com