Thursday, April 14, 2016

Hope Valley Brewing Company

Stir Crazy is excited to tell you about the newest restaurant on the block in SoDu is Hope Valley Brewing Company, in the old City Beverage space. They opened on St. Patrick's day, and the kind owners Peter Michaels, Andrew Christenbury, and Brad Strode invited us in for lunch on the house.

I love what they say on their website: "We strive to have incredible flavors in a low key environment loved by parents, beer officiandos, sports nuts, intellectuals and everyone else. Come give us a shot, you'll probably make some new friends."

First thing to know about the building is that the patio is still there and promises some refreshing spring meals in the nice weather. The old "lava lounge" space previously connected to City Beverage is still under construction, and the owners are working to figure out how to best use it, where exactly the brewing will take place, or if pool tables will work. So stay tuned to their facebook page for updates!

The new space is clean and modern, with minimalistic design and aqua walls, tan and wood accents. The colors and lighting definitely give it a pleasing appearance and allow you to focus on the food and experience. 

We sat right in front of one of the televisions since they were tuned to the first games of the NCAA, and it's sure to be a popular place watching games. We immediately noticed the kid area! It is in the corner but definitely not crowded, even with like 6 kids in there.

They had a big chalkboard, boxes full of toys, crayons and paper. My kids were totally entertained until the food came, so I got to relax.

We were starving so I immediately ordered. We got their homemade lemonade, which we sucked down - so good! I got the chicken nachos with guacamole, bang bang cauliflower app (Flash fried and tossed in City Bev's classic Bang-Bang), and the kids got a child's burger and a grilled cheese. 

Gotta admit I am a huge fan of the sauce on the cauliflower - think it's the only place I'll ever eat it! The nachos weren't quite how CityBev used to make them but it's nice that they kept some dishes as tribute to the past.

I was also happy to see that several former staff members are still working there, because they're great and talented food service workers. 

The menu is changing, with specials everyday and a brunch menu to come. 

Overall, we had a great time. It was perfect for a quick lunch and I can't wait to try it out for dinner or a moms night out on the patio. Happy to see another great brewery as well and am looking forward to tasting their first brews!

What we loved: It's got a nice clean feel and a combination of standards and unique takes on dishes. The kids area makes it one of the few restaurants in town that understands how keeping kids happy keeps parents coming, so I know SoDu Parents Posse members and Stir Crazy readers appreciate that!

What we would change: The kinks were still being worked out with food as they had just had their first delivery, but they were really receptive to all input I've seen so far. So reach out if you have any advice for the new biz as they grow!

The details: 
Hope Valley Brewing Company
4810 Hope Valley Road (formerly city Beverage)

Call for reservations at 919-294-4955
FCC disclosure: Hope Valley Brewing Company provided us with a free lunch for three so that we could provide an informed review of their restaurant and food. No endorsement was promised in exchange.

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