Head of steam
Nearly three years after its opening, Brewer's Republic (112 N. Nevada Ave., 633-2105) continues to undergo sweeping changes for its betterment. At the first of this year, owners of the neighboring Underground took over operations, giving manager Josh Adamski leeway to improve the craft offerings. Adamski added a new bottled beer cooler with a superior selection, brought in fine scotches and whiskies, and continued to grow the fun tap takeover series and monthly beer-dinner programming.
Now, by mid-July tentatively, a new glycol circulation system will add eight taps for a total of 20, all of which will move from the bar-top to the back wall. And the outfit has begun Friday and Saturday lunch service from 11 a.m., as well as full-service dinners on the upstairs patio.
Underground co-owner Jerry Morris says he's hired a new chef and co-designed a summer menu of lighter and healthier items such as pastas, salads and quinoa and tabouli plates in the $10 to $12 range, with the goal of overhauling the menu seasonally. "We wanted to step the food up a notch," he says, "to be a dinner destination."
To be clear, the Underground's bar menu (which sells quite well, according to Morris) won't change, though several items will appear on both menus, such as pizzas available until 1 a.m. nightly. (Full dinner menu hours run from 4 to 10 p.m., or until 11 on Fridays and Saturdays.)
As for the decision to invest in Brewer's Republic, Morris notes that it's the fourth business to inhabit the space since 2006 — when he and his partner bought the Underground — and the first that's done fairly well.
"We saw things we could change to make it better, but we felt the concept was a winner. It's built a nice following, and it's got a ton of potential."
Little Nepal (1747 S. Eighth St., lnepal.com) recently took over the former Taste of India at 4820 Flintridge Drive, forming a second Little Nepal location with loyal north-side residents in mind. Co-owner Raj Adhikari assures that the menu will be identical between locations, including all the popular buffet hours, such as the daily lunch and vegetarian Sundays.
Adhikari adds that he and co-owner Muku Bhandari have been looking to grow for more than a year now, patiently awaiting the right location. This one obviously fit their criteria, though they still spent three weeks "with five people working day and night" overhauling the bathrooms, dining room and kitchen.
The new spot now offers delivery within a five-mile radius, and Taste of India lives on at its location inside The Citadel mall.