Beast + Barrel
With the newly opened Beast + Barrel on Frazier Avenue, a new restaurant genre has been created: the “Gastro Smokehouse.” That’s how the trio of owners, Ryan Chilcoat, Matt Lewis and Geoff Tarr, refer to the beautifully renovated, 220-seat eatery on the former site of the Northshore Grille.
Walking in, you’re struck by the warm, elegant-but-laidback feeling created by the black and neutrals color scheme, accented by the lipstick-red original tin ceiling and a charming mural on one wall advertising “Danbury Hats, Chattanooga’s Pioneer Hat Cleaner.”
Matt Lewis explains that Beast + Barrel, which joins the Hair of the Dog Pub, The Honest Pint and The Terminal Brewhouse as the fourth restaurant from the partners, is designed to maintain the tradition of locally sourced, inventive food, but in an atmosphere that’s a bit more sophisticated. “We’ve dressed it up a little—but not too much,” he says.
Chef Jericho Michel, once on staff at The Terminal, is back at B+B, creating dishes such as “Crabacon Stuffed Trout,” one of the entrees for two offered on the menu, served with two family-style large sides. Caesar salad lovers should not miss the B+B version, featuring whole grilled romaine and home-prepared crostini and dressing. For a light meal, or to begin an extended one, the Butcher’s Block sampler shows off one of the highlights of the new restaurant—its own in-house charcuterie. Lewis notes charcuterie items, including bone marrow, can be ordered right off the menu.
The bar at Beast + Barrel is staffed by professionals, who are all developing their own signature cocktails, including, says Lewis, “Prohibition-style drinks, such as a classic martini or an Old Fashioned,” and the drinks menu also highlights both aperitifs and digestifs. But the bar’s uniqueness is truly enhanced by its wines on tap, which can be ordered both by the glass and by the carafe.
The warmer weather has already meant that diners are beginning to enjoy the outdoor patio seating looking out onto Coolidge Park. And late-night nibblers, you’re in luck: Beast + Barrel is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m., with a late-night menu served until 1:30 a.m.
Of course we had to ask Lewis what was new at the other three restaurants.
“Hair of the Dog had a major facelift last year,” he says. “It feels even more like a classic English pub now. We kept most of the menu items that people love, but added some new pub grub. And of course we kept the selection of English staple beers and ales, along with the craft beers.”
Over at the three-year-old Honest Pint, “We continue to highlight that it’s an Irish pub in a New World setting,” Lewis says. Live music happens several times a week, along with Irish beers and some outstanding food, including the popular “boxty” (Irish potato pancakes). Both pubs plan to offer extended hours and multiple screens during the upcoming World Cup.
While at the very happening Terminal, the green roof garden has been renovated (“with sturdier grass,” says Lewis), and seasonal, local menu selections still rule. Lewis notes the return of pale ale popularity, and its Terminal exponent, Terminally Ale American Copper.
Chattanoogans and their out-of-town friends have already shown how much they appreciate Hair of the Dog, The Honest Pint and The Terminal. With the birth of Beast + Barrel, there’s a fourth member of the family to love.
Beast + Barrel
16 Frazier Ave.