Trending In 2012: Gastropubs In The Suburbs
101 Beer Kitchen
Tessa Berg Photos
The gastropub concept, with its focus on craft beers paired with elevated pub grub, has been hot for several years. These bar-first, food-second spots originated in London and quickly caught on in the States. Now we’re seeing the term being used to market a much wider variety of establishments—restaurants that place equal emphasis on pints and plates.
Last year saw the opening of the family-friendly gastropub 101 Beer Kitchen in Dublin as well as the first gastropub inside a Whole Foods, called The Local, at the Dublin-Granville Road store.
At these spots, what’s fried is also fresh (no frozen taters!), ingredients are locally sourced, menus rotate seasonally and an actual chef resides in the kitchen. It’s the perfect mashup of approachable, creative fare and bar food prices (think dinner and a beer for less than $20).
Diners seem to love the concept at 101 Beer Kitchen, packing it in almost nightly since its October opening.
“People in the suburbs want the same thing people in an urban area want: good food,” says 101 Beer Kitchen co-owner Jessica Kittrell. “They want to be able to get a homemade meal in a cozy place. And you can’t go wrong with good beers.”
101 BEER KITCHEN Owners Thad and Jessica Kittrell sought to design a welcoming space with gray tones and rust-colored floors, fireplaces, and a sprinkling of antiques. Thad runs the kitchen, turning out beer-loving dishes such as soft pretzels with beer cheese spread, and beer-steamed mussels.
The brew list of 50 craft bottles and 20 drafts (the latter changing almost every day) is user-friendly, organized by beer style. There is, Jessica admits, a secret stash of Budweiser in the back. But try ordering one and the staff will kindly try to steer you toward a sample of something similar from the microbrew list.
“We are not beer snobs, we are beer lovers,” Jessica says. “We’re there to educate the customer that there is a very big world of beer.”
7509 Sawmill Rd., Dublin, 614-210-1010, 101beerkitchen.com
THE LOCAL Let’s come right out and say it. Because of its location, The Local inside Whole Foods may not be considered a true gastropub, but it sure tastes like one. A dozen draft beers, focused on microbrews mainly from Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan, are offered alongside simple bar snacks and share plates of fried pickles, fish and chips, and bangers and mash with made-in-house sausage.
Even the star decor is meant to tie back to Columbus, which is always noted with a star on pictures of Ohio.
“The idea itself is really simple and approachable,” says store manager Kathleen Tozzi, who helped design the concept. “Columbus is very much a beer town.”
3670 W. Dublin-Granville Rd., Dublin, 614-760-5556, wholefoodsmarket.com