The time is here and after a year of chatter and murmuring around the city of Saratoga Springs surrounding what was being built at 381 Broadway, Druthers Brewing will be opening their doors tomorrow, August 1st.
This picture, taken just one week ago, gives you a good idea as to what the courtyard will look like. That big red building is where the indoor seating, bar and brewing equipment will be.
I’ve gotta say, I’m pretty excited for this brew pub for a number of reasons. First off, I’m pretty tired of always finding myself at Gaffneys, bumping into people because that’s where EVERYONE goes when it’s warm out and it’s track season.
Second, I love micro-brews. As I sit here writing this, I’m drinking my boyfriends last Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA and I’m really enjoying it. (Sorry Tim!)
That’s right, I love myself some good “hoppy” beer and I hope that Druther’s will provide me with some nice new additions to my favorites.
Finally, the menu looks bomb, and that’s what I’m most interested in. Here’s a look for yourself:
Yes, I’m aware that the wording is miniscule, but it was the only image I could find. Nonetheless, the confit chicken wings, calamari and mac and cheese are definitely items that I’ll have to get my hands on opening night, and there’s many others I’d like to try as well.
I can’t wait to try this place out and report back to you, but I have a really really reaaaaaalllyy good feeling I’m going to be returning with nothing but good news!
The full menu is online on the Druthers website, as are a list of beers. Glad you are pumped! They open today!!!! http://www.druthersbrewing.com.
“I have a really really reaaaaaalllyy good feeling I’m going to be returning with nothing but good news!”
If this statement is going to turn out to be prophetic, I have one word of advice, and that is “WAIT”.
We went to Druther’s this Monday evening after the track, in no small part after reading about the opening on this blog, and frankly there are more criticism’s than compliments after this visit.
The first aggravation was the fact that I called the Tuesday before hand and asked if they took reservations, because I knew it was just opening and might be difficult to get in. We have been going to Saratoga forever, and knew reservations during track season were unlikely, but was happily surprised when they were indeed taken. Happily surprised that is until our party arrived and was met with the “deer in the headlight” stare, and the dreaded “we don’t take reservations” answer. We were promptly seated, even without the benefit of our “make-believe” reservations, but was just a bad omen.
A much bigger problem was that we were seated inside, and the first impression a customer had is that the room is INCREDIBLY, OBNOXIOUSLY, loud. Humans have been constructing buildings for many thousands of years, and I find it very difficult to beleive that the architect of this restaurant did not recognize the sound problem this facility would have. A big open room, absolutely no sound absorbing materials, and a lot of people is a recipe for sound disaster, and a sound disaster it is. The waitresses have to virtually yell to the customers, several times at the larger tables, and because everything is so loud, anybody that wants to communicate with their table-mates tries to yell above the din, making for an ever escalating cascade of noise.
Speaking of the waitresses having to yell, how about this, this micro-brewery does not produce a beer listing, so the waitresses have to yell the entire beer menu over, and over, and over, and over, and over again all evening long. The answer I was given is that the beer selections “change so fast” that they can’t keep up with a menu. Having personally used a word processor and Kinko’s, I really have a problem believing that such an important task could not be completed on a daily basis if necessary. We are in large part coming for the beer, and we would like to know what you are offering, and what is special about them, before we make our selections. If I wanted to get yelled at every time I wanted a beer, I could just stock the fridge with selections from D & L Truck Stop in Auburn, and stay home. Seriously folks, don’t make us beg you to tell us what you are peddling!
The other thing about the service is that we had three “under 21” (14-17) folks in our party, and as far as the waitress was concerned they might as well have been invisible. She took beer orders, and walked away, brought the first order over and took the order from a couple later arrivals, and again walked away without acknowledging their existence. Truth be told, there are times that I ignore their existence, but then again I am not trying to sell them sodas with about a 98% profit margin. If the profit on each soda buys one little piece of sound deadening material, I really recommend they treat their under 21 customers like real human beings and offer them a drink rather then ignoring them.
That all being said – the real reason we went to dinner was to eat, and on that front we had better results. The menu selections are extremely limited. We knew that going in by looking at the menu online, but it really is going to have to expand to be successful on a repeat basis. The food itself was good/very good with some unusual selections that fit in well with the micro-brewery feel. Our party had cuban sandwiches, meatloaf wrapped in bacon sandwiches, burgers, and a couple varieties of macaroni and cheese and all were well received. Most of the entrees are offered with fries or “greens”, and it occurred to me that it would have been awesome if the “Greens” that were offered were actually greens & beans rather than a tiny salad. If you have members of your party with more “vanilla” tastes however – they will be hard pressed to find something for their palate, and that will eventually impact repeat business, especially when the track is dark after August.
I would love this place to succeed and thrive, but they have a lot of work to do, and are going to have to do it quickly. Frankly I would stop serving inside until the sound problem is licked, and would try to get those renovations done before the weather turns this fall. If not, the “regulars” that you are going to need to put Druther’s into their year-round rotations are simply not going to be willing to deal with the noise, and the limited menu, and they are going to have a very tough go of things.