Wednesday, April 9, 2014
North Chattanooga will have a new restaurant and bar by April 15 if all goes as planned for Beast and Barrel owners Matt Lewis, Ryan Chilcoat and Geoff Tarr. The three are responsible for already-popular local spots including The Terminal, Hair of the Dog Pub and Honest Pint.
Described as a gastropub, Beast and Barrel will serve elevated pub grub, Lewis said. The restaurant is in possession of a fairly large meat smoker, and he said the menu will include lots of protein, heavy dishes and charcuterie.
The bar’s focus is on craft beers and cocktails. Beast and Barrel will make its own bitters, syrups and sweet and sour, he said.
“We’ll use a lot of fresh ingredients as opposed to pouring them from a jar,” said Lewis.
The restaurant is the second in town to feature wine on tap, he added. Patrons can choose from six varieties.
Beast and Barrel will have 30-35 different bottled beers and 12 beers on tap, including six Tennessee beers, three imports and three craft brews.
“Our goal is to do a lot of pairings with the bar and food and help people make decisions on what to put together,” Lewis said.
For example, for someone eating a spicy dish he would recommend a fuller-bodied red wine, hoppy beer or whiskey-based drink as opposed to a fruity cocktail.
Lewis said he has always thought it would be nice to own the new restaurant’s building, the former Northshore Grille on Frazier Avenue near the Market Street intersection.
“We’re in the perfect storm of activity, and it’s got elements that already make it great,” he said, speaking of the building’s features such as the retractable garage doors that face Frazier Avenue.
Lewis and his partners sought to highlight those elements as well as make improvements, including adding 10 feet to the bar and replacing the screened-in porch in the back with a deck.
“It made sense to open it up,” he said. “Some people didn’t even realize there was a patio.”
Lewis said each time he and his partners open a new restaurant, they spend days emailing each other suggestions.
The “beast” in the name came from the menu’s emphasis on smoked meat and charcuterie, which made Lewis think of an animal reference, and “barrel” is a reference to anything bar-related.
“They sound good together, and they represent the whole combination of dining and a bar,” he said. “In the South especially, there’s a little bit of a disconnect between dining out and having cocktails. One of our goals is to show people you can do both.”
Lewis said the bar’s clever and unique menu will feature items patrons will not find anywhere else in town.
“We always try to have signature items,” he said.
The restaurant as well as the patio are non-smoking.
“I think the bar is going to be really cool and a great place to hang out and learn about cocktails, or just have a drink and sit and watch what’s going on outside,” Lewis said.