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Whetting Your Whistle at Whetstone Tavern

Whetting Your Whistle at Whetstone Tavern

If you like what’s going on at Brauhaus Schmitz (and who doesn’t?), you’ll want to check out Whetstone Tavern, Doug and Kelly Hager’s newest restaurant that opened July 15. The Queen Village restaurant and charcuterie bar serves upscale American comfort food, a slight change from Brauhaus’s traditional German menu.

The carefully crafted menu, featuring regionally-inspired foods, is complemented by the drink menu which was just as carefully crafted by sommelier and author Marnie Old who worked with Doug Hager on the beer, wine, and cocktail offerings to include a broad range of styles. Consideration was taken to ensure there’s something for everyone.

The bar has 15 rotating taps with choices that offer a balance of richness and refreshment. Several of the beers are under 6% ABV so guests can enjoy 2 or 3 during their visit while enjoying a meal.

Ales and lagers are joined by craft staples like Chimay Premiere, as well as some local brews like Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA and Yards Brawler. About 40 bottles of beer from “Dad beers” to what Hager describes as “higher octane stuff” round out the beer choices.

Old said she chose “distinctive styles from around the world” for the wines-by-the-glass list. Wines from Spain, France, and Italy offer Old World tradition that partner well with chef Jeremy Nolan’s foods. There are also wines from the current “hit parade” like a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and an Argentinian Malbec.

While all the wines are carefully chosen, Old points to two stand outs. The Burgundy Petit Chablis from Domain d’Elise (Burgundy, France) is “lean and gorgeously dry.” She suggests pairing it with the Pan Seared Icelandic Cod on the menu. 

Toro, from Vina Mayor (Castille-Leon, Spain) is a Tempranillo that’s earthy with a fruit core and complements the Rabbit Tetrazzini and beef dishes. The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” house red and white wines complete the choices, at $6 a glass. An additional 48 wines are available by the bottle.

A simple, easy cocktail menu has six drinks you won’t have to wait ten minutes for the bartender to make including a Gin Manhattan (pictured left), featuring Bluecoat American Barrel Aged Gin and Carpano Antica Vermouth served on the rocks and the Shine Me Up, made with Strawberry-Steeped Moonshine, Vodka, Campari, and fresh lemon, served up.

Old is particularly fond of the White on Rye (pictured right) featuring Jim Beam Rye Whiskey, White Vermouth, Kummel Caraway Liqueur, and Hop Bitters, served up. Seasoned bartender Molly O’Rourke, formerly of Southwark, manages the bar.

There is no happy hour at Whetstone Tavern just yet, but Hager anticipates that once the restaurant starts opening for lunch and is open for longer hours, a happy hour will be added, perhaps by the end of summer. For now, the restaurant opens at 5 PM, seven nights a week.

Whetstone Tavern, 700 S 5th St., 267-909-8814 

Photos by Vanessa Beahn

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