Boylan Bridge Brewpub is back in business after repairing and recovering from a collapsed basement wall that shut down the popular bar and restaurant for 15 months.
“We’re open,” owner Andrew Leager said Friday afternoon. “Now we have all our authorizations. For all intents and purposes, there are people sitting outside with some beer.”
Technically speaking, the restaurant will have a soft opening Saturday.
Leager knows first-hand the anticipation that’s surrounded the reopening of the South Boylan Avenue spot that arguably provides the best view of the Raleigh skyline around. He has been approached regularly since he closed Feb. 10, 2016.
“I’m a hopeless optimist,” he said. He would tell someone it would reopen in a few weeks time, quickly realizing that it could be months.
But repairing the structural damage – a load-bearing wall cracked up to the patio – took time. So did adding a new event space, The Clover Room, which can accommodate parties of 10 to 15 people.
He knows the fans will come, but hopes there is some patience as his staff is trained. The menu has been revamped to an extent, and there are new employees. This training will happen Saturday and Sunday.
“I assume some people will wander in and want some food,” Leager said. “We’ll do what we can to provide the food from the menu. ... We’ll be open for full menu, full service Monday at noon.”
The menu has been streamlined to remove items that would slow down the kitchen. New items have been added, including bratwurst and pork belly sliders. They’re making some of their own breads too.
The brewery operation has kicked back into gear as well with a new brewer, Ben Evans, who previously worked at Aviator Brewing Company and the now-closed Draft Line Brewing Co. in Fuquay-Varina. Beer is brewing in the tanks and is expected to be ready in the next few weeks. Until that time, craft beer from local brewers will be served.
“He’s a great addition to our effort,” Leager said. “He’s whipped the brewery into shape.”
The brewery will have a rotation of 10 beers for the six taps.
The wine list has expanded with dozens of new wines of a “broader range,” Leager said.
“I’m so excited about it,” he said. “We should have done it years ago.”
Leager, in general, sounds excited – and relieved – about everything happening with the brewpub that opened in 2009.
He likens his journey to reopening to Odysseus in the epic Greek poem, “The Odyssey,” who spent years returning home after fighting the Trojan War. Leager jokes that instead of killing the cyclops, he had to deal with the city’s inspection department. He quickly adds that the city has “been a strong asset for us to get this construction right.”
“I’m Odysseus, and my sword is drawn,” he says.
Info: 201 S. Boylan Ave., Raleigh. boylanbridge.com, facebook.com/BoylanBridgePub/