The doors opened last Wednesday. The taps flowed on Friday. And the cicadas were singing by Sunday. Such is life in the beer garden at the Westside Local.
"This space is as much yours as it is mine," said proprietor Troy McEvers, who was operating on four hours sleep a night -- the result of trying to get the Westside Local up and running last week.
The menu is an easy mix of
localities (deviled eggs and pickles), larger plates (sheep's cheese
raveloni and braised rabbit saison), and seasonal produce -- peach
sorbet was being touted last Friday -- cheese plates and garlic fries.
"I just want to make
comfort food -- food that makes people feel welcome," said Executive
Chef Rick Martin, who left Free State Brewery after 17 years for the
chance to run his own kitchen.
The bar sits in a small enclave
between the dining room and the beer garden. It's fully stocked,
as evidenced by the Knob Creek, which is sadly becoming the liquor
equivalent of an endangered species.
like any beer garden worth the salt in its pilsner, it's what's on
tap that will keep customers coming back. McEvers said he will look to have a
rotating series of Belgian beers and plans to maintain a full lineup
from the Boulevard Brewery -- including Tank 7, which Fat City got to sample back in March.
The outdoor space is the Westside Local's biggest selling point. Five wooden tables stretch the expanse of the beer garden, encouraging visitors to strike up conversations with neighbors.