Brewser's SportsGrille marks five years
COAL TOWNSHIP - Brewser's SportsGrille celebrates its five-year anniversary today.
Its owners, Dan Hauer and Geno Welsh, credit their employees with working to make the restaurant a success.
They can credit their customers' appetites, too. Hauer said Brewser's has averaged more than 36,000 hamburgers sold annually.
To keep churning out the burgers and salads and sandwiches, Hauer and Welsh will reinvest into a kitchen overhaul, completely retrofitting the kitchen space with state-of-the-art equipment. It will come with a slight expansion of the kitchen area only.
"Five years ago, we barely had enough money to put into the front of the house to make sure it no longer looked or felt like Bonanza," Hauer said.
"The plans are submitted and approved for the construction of an addition to the kitchen, which will house additional walk-in cooler and freezer space, a new dish-room, and area for additional fresh food preparation. This will allow for the entire kitchen to be gutted and reinstall state-of-the-art food service equipment that will not only make our kitchen more efficient, but will make the entire business flow smoothly and seamlessly for years to come," Welsh wrote in an e-mail. "Our customers will notice a considerable difference in food quality and service times once this phase is complete in the early spring 2014."
Welsh's father had long operated Bonanza at 839 W. Water St., and successfully so. When Hauer and Welsh opened Brewser's in September 2008, they offered customers an entirely different experience and are now fully focused on providing sports and family entertainment as accompaniments to their menu items.
"Some of our unique offerings over the years have been a Berry Delicious Salad which is every bit a fruit salad as it is a grilled chicken salad; the Franken Burger, which is a cheeseburger topped with a cut up hot dog; the 'Amazin Glazin,' which is topped with a fried egg and served between a sliced glazed donut; the PB&J burger, which is topped with peanut butter and jelly and a spicy sriracha sauce," Welsh wrote.
Introducing items like Welsh described has been, to Hauer, among the many challenges they've faced.
"We always wanted to be on the cutting edge of things. As soon as we figured out a new menu item or incorporating the craft beers, to be able to incorporate that into our everyday restaurant was very challenging," Hauer said.
What Brewser's may have needed more than anything since its grand opening five years ago was additional parking spaces. They've since acquired some neighboring lots to add spots for customer parking.
They also needed to define what Brewser's really is. After some forays into live entertainment, they've since kept it simple: food on the table, beer in the kegs and coolers and sports on flat-screen televisions.
"People flock (to Brewser's) for our food, that's for sure, not to come and be rowdy such as at a barroom or night club. That is why everything revolves around our food and sports. I believe we found the right mix, our niche," Welsh wrote. "It didn't take five years, but it didn't happen overnight either. I'm happy where we are at this point in our life cycle. We are where we need to be. Sustained growth with an innovative approach is what got us to this point."
There have been overtures made to Hauer and Welsh about franchising the Brewser's brand, and expansion of new locations doesn't seem far from their minds. For now, however, they're focused on their first and only location.
"We sat down and we took a deep breath because it all happened so quickly and we didn't want to make a decision that would jeopardize this location. Five years, we're still babies and we're still growing and we learn every day," Hauer said.
Brewser's SportsGrille, located between Arch and Walnut streets in Coal Township, opens at 11 a.m. daily seven days a week. It has specials on lunch, dinner and drinks. To view their food and drink menus, visit www.brewsers.com. There are two private rooms available for parties or large groups. Walk-ins are always welcome, but reservations are accepted. Call 648-7122 for more information.