It never ceases to amaze, the quick passage of time. SRB has FIVE years under our collective belts, in the business of brewing craft beer to the highest quality possible, preparing food in our pub with great care, and supporting local, regional, national, and international, Live music, as an eclectic venue. Speaking of venue, have you been to the NEW SRB Pub yet?!? Well, if not, let’s take a TOUR!!
First off, let’s get some background on this move. Local Valley County hotelier, restaurateur, golf course dreamer, and avid outdoors-man, David Carey, approached us about moving SRB down to McCall’s old train depot in the fall of 2013 (Which his father, John Carey, progressive land developer et al., had purchased in the early 1990’s).
David has served SRB’s beers in their Jug Mountain Ranch club house, and lakeside restaurant, Ruperts at Hotel McCall since the day we opened in 2009, and has been a BIG advocate of our business on many fronts for the years following. When he approached us about moving, we had just completed our 5th summer at our original joint, and had recently announced the addition of Adolphus Busch IV as a minority partner in our company, and the ensuing equipment expansion in our brew house. We had also completed new business plans exploring the construction of a larger, production size brewery, capable of producing enough beer to spread the cheer to the entire state of Idaho, and multiple neighboring states. We knew moving SRB to the core of town, with all of the associated costs, would entrench us as a Brew Pub (that’s ok!!), requiring us to focus intently on our restaurant aspect of the business. One issue came up quickly. Where does the Brewery go? David wondered if we could keep the current brewery, and deliver beer to the new pub. We quickly explained our belief, that to deliver the BEST customer experience, the brewery needs to be attached to the pub, so customers can see where the beer magic happens, and so staff can have that close connection to the heart beat of the company, the BEER! David believes so deeply in the future of SRB, that he proposed they build us a custom brew space attached to the pub, for us to outfit, and brew MORE craft beer for you!! More on THAT project in the next blog post!!
The great part about being “entrenched ” in the brewpub model, from a beer standpoint, is it means we get to focus more on new recipe development,creation of a bona fide barrel aging, and sour beer program, and fun, special beer related events around the pub grounds.
It does mean there is going to be some difficulties supplying our growing keg distribution network in Central, and Southern Idaho this coming summer. More on that in the next blog post!
From a food, and customer service experience standpoint, it means much more of good thing, in regards to delicious gourmet pub grub, expanded full service, and major outdoor customer area enhancements. The old outdoor kitchen (remember the Matt’s et al. out on the old deck bbq’ing beer soaked brats in sideways snow?), has been replaced with a larger, more capable kitchen (Yet, not large enough?!? More on that in the next blog post). SRB’s new chef, and Le Cordon Bleu Portland graduate, Jason VanSlyke, has not been wasting any time utilizing it. He has improved our Elk Burger, brought back baked Mac and Cheese, Oven Roasted Hot Wings, and Smoked Salmon Tacos. He implemented the addition of a Thai Beef salad, and Wrap. Jason added a wonderful Salmon Filet dish, Baked Nachos, and the Scotch Egg. Town is already starting to pay attention to Jason’s daily specials, including his delicious hand-made soups. Follow this link for our FULL MENU.
Check out the photos below of the special dishes he paired with SRB beers, for a “Ski Apres Coffee Table Book”, being published out of Vail, Colorado.
Great beer, and food, are major components that we are committed to delivering with excellence. Staff to pub go’er interaction is another critical component that we are bound to. Our pub team grew from 10 to over 30 in only a few short weeks to keep up with the demand, that we are so pleased to see exists! Our General Manager Chenoa Badley, and Chef Jason, are excited, and up for the challenge of developing, and retaining an outstanding staff team in our pub.
The new pub has 75 interior seats (up from 35 in the old joint), and some major aesthetic, and functional upgrades from years past, that all came together thanks to the help of Studio 616, Tall Timber, SRB Season Pass member, and master craftsman Eric Taplin, epoxy master Mountain Pulliam, Rocky Mountain Signs, DeMoss Glass Art, Rough N’ Rustic , many staff members who cleaned, painted, stained, and the SRB owners who helped at every phase.
What kind of upgrades? Custom lounge zone, the addition of a massive 15ft Ponderosa bar top,and a 8ft Ponderosa table, custom metal tables, and keg lighting, suede ceiling details, cut glass growler wall sconces, additional artwork, river oar display, softer lighting, and paint schemes, ceiling speakers, and more!
It has been a whirl wind journey from our new pub opening in December of 2013, until now. It has been, much, much busier than we projected. With the busy Winter holiday season behind us, we are prepared to learn from our successes, and our challenges, with the goal of being ready to positively impress all of our loyal patrons, and new customers, in what we expect to be a phenomenally busy Summer of 2014. We are now open 7 days a week lunch, and dinner. Lunch was always a challenge at the original location, business was too hit and miss. It was also difficult to keep strict hours everyday, for the same reasons. The new location has proven to be vibrant, right in the heart of McCall’s foot, and general daily activity zone, for locals and visitors alike, which has allowed us to stick to our listed hours more closely, and offer daily lunch. Stay tuned for more blog posts related to this move, specifically the CUSTOM, brewery that is planned to be attached to our pub in the old train depot! Prost!!
Salmon River Brewery