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Havre de Grace's Laurrapin Grille becomes Lagom under new owners

Kristina Sciarra, second from left, and Janice Rogers, who met 10 years ago while working at Laurrapin Grille, bought the restaurant in January 2017 and have renamed it Lagom, which means "happy with just enough." They are standing with their sons, Frankie, left, and A.J.
Kristina Sciarra, second from left, and Janice Rogers, who met 10 years ago while working at Laurrapin Grille, bought the restaurant in January 2017 and have renamed it Lagom, which means "happy with just enough." They are standing with their sons, Frankie, left, and A.J. (Courtesy Lagom / Baltimore Sun)

Kristina Sciarra and Janice Rogers are getting back to their roots and as the new owners of a Havre de Grace restaurant they’re changing its name to reflect the changes in their lives.

Laurrapin Grill has been renamed Lagom, which Sciarra said comes from an old Scandanavian term that means “being happy with just enough.”

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“Pretty much everything we’ve been doing leading up to this, we’re happy with just what we have,” Sciarra said.

Sciarra and Rogers bought the restaurant from Bruce and Sherifa Clark a year ago and have slowly integrated the name change, as well as changes to the menu, throughout the last year. They’ll be celebrating their new name with a grand-re-opening celebration Jan. 20.

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Sciarra, who appeared on the Food Networks’ show “Chopped” in October 2016, is the executive chef, while Rogers is the general manager.

A somewhat uncomfortable Kristina Sciarra stood in the bar area of the Laurrapin Grille in Havre de Grace Thursday evening surrounded by family and friends, as they watched the popular Food Network show "Chopped" that featured Sciarra, the restaurant's executive chef, as a contestant. Though she finished short of taking the $10,000 first prize, she said the experience "will absolutely make me a stronger chef."

The couple met 10 years ago when Sciarra started working at Laurrapin — Rogers was a server and Sciarra a cook. They eventually became the managers of the front of the house and of the kitchen, and realized they both had the same dream to one day own a business of their own.

“It definitely has a special place in our heart for both of us,” Sciarra said.

When the Clarks decided to sell the restaurant, neither Sciarra nor Rogers wanted to see the restaurant go away. The Clarks were a big part of their lives for a while and they didn’t want to see what they worked for wiped out.

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“We were very happy with just being there, just having enough,” Sciarra said. “We want our employees to be happy with what they have and have enough to take care of their families.”

Switching from employees to employers carries “pretty much the same workload,” she said.

“But now we have to pay bills, that adds a layer of stress to things,” she said. “It’s been fun so far. There’s a lot of growing and hat-wearing, but it’s pretty much what I thought it would be.”

Working together allows Sciarra and her wife to “divide and conquer,” Sciarra said.

One or the other, or both, can get to the baseball and soccer games of their two boys, Frankie and A.J.

As for the menu, most of what is changing is where the food comes from, Sciarra said.

“We’re going back to the roots of the place, using as much local produce and meat as we can, whatever farms we can source from locally,” she said.

As a small business, Sciarra said it’s important for them to support other small and local businesses.

“It’s really hard for small farmers to make a living. We don’t want to see everything disappear,” she said. “I like my small local farm. In Harford County, we have ton of options to use.”

And they’re trying to spread the wealth, she said. They’ve been working closely with Tommy Shireman, of Thirdway Farm on Chapel Road, who has “great” chickens and pigs and will grow whatever she asks.

The menu changes often, depending what Sciarra is getting, she said.

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