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Oct. 15, 2021 | Friday
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Bricks and Barley opens with a bang
Bricks and Barley co-owner Marco Spione, general manager Christie Devos, executive chef Jeremy 'Clark' Gilligan stand by the bar in the full restaurant (Brittany Carter)

Bricks and Barley hit the ground running in its first week of business.

The newest sports bar in town opened quietly on Jan. 22 and has been packed ever since. Christie Devos, general manager, said the reception so far has been overwhelming.

“We opened on Tuesday and got rocked. We were super busy all day and it just didn’t stop.”

The official grand opening was Jan. 25 and business hasn’t slowed. Devos said Saturday was busier than the grand opening on Friday.

Ensuring they weren’t over-capacity, staff were taking counts at the door. Devos said the restaurant looks big, but the capacity is 103 right now. She said their liquor license is getting updated so they can hopefully have a few more patrons in the building in the future.

“We could easily fill a lot more than that in here, but we did not want to go over. Some people were disappointed that they could not get in, but we couldn’t let them. Yes, we have the room for standing, for dancing but we didn’t want to risk it. We’re brand new. The fire department and the liquor control board can come in and ask you for your capacity numbers and take checks. We decided just to be on the safe side.”

Helen Arsenault, a NOTL resident who was in attendance during the grand opening on Friday, said the evening was loud, fun and exciting. A combination of the great food, the lively atmosphere and the ease at which strangers were striking up conversations with each other made for an unforgettable experience, she said

“We’re definitely going back.” She said, adding that it’s a great place for locals to escape to. “For me, it was the vibe; it’s the definition of what a sports bar is all about. It was friendly and hopping.”

As with any new venture, there have been issues to work out. Devos said she’s asking people to bear with them.

“We really appreciate everyone’s support so far, and their patience. A lot of people came out over the week and we’re still working out some kinks. Maybe poor timing, and some servers were still learning the computer. Some mistakes were definitely made but just be patient, work with us, maybe try back later in the week.”

Other than a private VIP room that seats between 10 and 14, they are not taking reservations now. “I think we’re going to keep it no reservations for a while. Maybe when the fad wears off a bit we’ll see what happens,” she said, adding “hopefully it won’t.”

Devos said the owners are from Virgil, and they dreamt the restaurant up because they recognized a demand for something like that in town.

For residents who haven’t been able to secure a table and still want to try the food, the restaurant does offer take-out. Delivery is an option after 5 p.m., but Devos said that it’s something else they’re working out the kinks with, as they only have one car for delivery. She said it’s something that will depend on demand.

The restaurant was closed for a day of rest on Monday. Devos said they had nothing left by the end of the weekend and needed a day to recoup, re-order and re-prep for the next day. She said they’re looking forward to more busy days ahead.