Westies Gastropub Coming Soon to The Brewery District
There have been speculations for months surrounding the happenings at 940 South Front Street in the Brewery District. The spot, which sits right at the corner of Frederick and Front Streets, was formerly Mason Memorial Studio (maker of tombstones and headstones), but news traveled quickly that a restaurant was coming, adding to the burgeoning dining scene just south of Downtown.
That restaurant now has a name: Westies Gastropub. It’s 5,300 square feet, with multiple rooms and bars. It’s not the run-of-the-mill type of gastropub however, its focus healthily split into creating a place that serves really good food and drink, as well as one where sports fans of every kind can come in to enjoy the game.
The front main room will seat roughly 128, the floor plan a simple arrangement of 4-tops, 6-tops, and booths. There’s also a private dining room which seats 12-15 that’s equipped with its own smart television. Four 80-inch televisions are also located behind the bar, bringing the TV total to 13 in this part of the restaurant.
The long bar was built by the owner, Tony Selimi, a veteran in construction specializing in mosaic tiling, and will easily seat about 30 guests. Selimi also designed and built all the tables in Westies, adding a sleek, chic feel to the place. This combination of luxury and mellowness is at the core of Westies’ vision, as they hope to attract the t-shirt guy as regularly as they do the ones in suits.
There will be 24 beers on rotating tap available, all of which will be craft or imports, no domestics (they will have them in the bottle). There will also be wines and hand-crafted cocktails for visitors to enjoy, like the Bourbon Bacon Bloody, an epicurean twist on the hair-of-the-dog go-to using Bulleit Bourbon.
The back of Westies will more closely resemble a lounge, decked out coffee tables, a couch, and a fireplace. It’s a four-season patio really, enclosed by garage doors during the cold months. A full bar with the same number of taps and specialty cocktails as the front will be available in this 100-seat area, which also has six televisions and free wi-fi.
The outside patio will hold 30 when all is done, which means that on the best days, Westies will be able to cater to over 250 guests at a time. They already have plans to host beer and wine dinners, and after the opening dust settles, they will add brunch to the lineup as well.
The food at Westies will be elevated American pub fare, with 95% of all dish components being made in-house from locally-sourced and organic ingredients. Jeremy Cook, who created the menu for Hubbard Grille when it opened, and is mentored by Paul Yow of Barcelona fame, will offer a variety of sandwiches, pizzas and flatbreads, and small plates.
For instance, diners can order a Pork Belly BLT that takes the classic sandwich to a delicious new level, Potato Pierogis, and a tempting take on the humble Spinach Dip that’s worth sharing with friends. Even the sides at Westies will be visit-worthy, the fries and chips hand-cut on site and cooked-to-order.
Patrons can anticipate paying anywhere from $8-$25 when they dine at Westies, a fair cost given the labor-intensive fare. Cook also hopes to run daily lunch and dinner Chef Specials after opening, which should offer even more value and variety to the menu.
“It’s going to look super expensive in here, but really, it’s casual,” shares Lisa Cole-DiMinno, Bar Manager at Westies. “Anyone is going to be able to come in and enjoy good food, great beer, and watch the game. We think of this place as a sophisticated twist on the public pub experience.”
Westies Gastropub will officially open for business on Tuesday, January 14th, with soft openings on the 10th and 11th for suppliers, purveyors, and special guests. Their website and facebook page are currently under construction, so check back soon for more on Westies’ progress and updates.