First Look: Barleygarden Kitchen & Craft Bar
Kevin Ouzts & Kraig Torres of The Spotted Trotter and Hop City, respectively, combine high-quality charcuterie and beer at their latest venture at Avalon
How did the concept for Barleygarden come about?
Kraig Torres: At the core, Barleygarden is an extension of what Hop City has done for the past nine years—that is curate an amazing selection of beer, wine and cocktails so our guests can share our passion for the best in fermented beverages. I couldn’t think of a better culinary partner than Kevin Ouzts. I was inspired by the Munich biergarten, but I did not want to be pigeonholed, culinarily speaking.
What kind of guest experience did you work to create?
KT: Our goal was to create a neighborhood space focused on people interacting with people—all while sharing the best that beer and simple but well-made food has to offer. For this reason we don’t have TVs. We do have a constantly rotating beer list of our favorite, often harder-to-find brews from around here and all over.
What was your process for developing the menu?
Kevin Ouzts: We wanted to prepare food that’s delicious, approachable and easy to consume. There’s a lot of concerts and events at Avalon, so we wanted things that could be consumed with the beer while guests walk around and have a great time.
Hop City beer and Spotted Trotter meats seem like a match made in heaven!
KO: A charcuterie board is something you inevitably think about when you’re drinking beer. We wanted something with portability, so we put our locally sourced and pasture-raised meats together on really great bread from TGM Bread.
KT: Kevin and I have a similar goal: locally sourced, house-made food that pairs well with beer. Our collaborative creation was the Braut Burger, and I feel like it is a home run.
What has your experience been at the Avalon development?
KO: They’ve welcomed us with open arms, and folks have really enjoyed Kraig’s concept. We’ve had a great experience, and with the hotel and office building coming right next door, we really have an opportunity to show what we’re all about, so we’re excited.