Sally M wrote:I wasn't keen on the food selection; had in mind a burger and from previous word-of-mouth, had assumed I'd find a burger, or something similar, that was a cut above bar food found at other places ...
... I'll go out on a limb here, and say that my reaction that evening was that the establishment won't be viable over the long-term at those menu prices, and that if Bank Street Brewhouse does remain, it will have a different menu before long.
Too pricey for the neighborhood? I'm just guessing here, as I don't know the neighborhood, and the proprietor surely does.
Fair enough, although I will point out that in spite of words spread by mouth, at no time since the dawn of Bank Street's creation have we considered burgers in the accepted sense. Nor chicken wings, even though they're a great favorite of mine. That's not what we want to do.
The issues of "menu prices" and portion sizes perhaps are appropriate for another thread. Caviar comes in a small package, and it's both tasty and expensive, but I can fry up a mess of potatoes cheaply. It's a matter of perspective. When we first opened, two of my friends observed (not to my face) that we'd never last, because "you have to feed
people." Really? Placing this in the context of the 30+% of obese Americans, perhaps so. Comments like that are appreciated, and also will not be forgotten. It's what makes me competitive.
Understand, then, that what we're trying to accomplish is unusual in the context of American perceptions as to the proper role of brewpubs, i.e., our pairing our own beer (not someone else's wine) with menu items like Josh's, items that incorporate locally sourced ingredients (whenever possible) and are not coming off the weekly (and less expensive) Sysco truck.
Compare Bank Street's menu to establishments that attempt similar offerings, not to one's expectations of the brewpubs previously experienced. We'd call it a gastropub if not for our general cultural habit of associating the word "gastro" with stomach flu, and yet, "gastropub" is the word that fits it best. Maybe we still will. If we fail in the proper comparison, then that's grounds for re-evaluation.
Finally, as for priciness in the context of neighborhood, it really all depends on one's definition of neighborhood. In the New Albany sense, probably it's pricey, but my personal definition of neighborhood extends somewhat further, to include the like-minded in the metro area and beyond, and my goal always has been to elevate, not to pander.
Thanks for trying the food, and for providing this chance for me to respond.
Roger A. Baylor
New Albanian Brewing Company &
NABC Bank Street Brewhouse
New Albany, Indiana