In what could be called a Barley & Swine kind of pun, Jorgie Ramos, owner of B&S Gastropub (AKA Barley & Swine) is making a purse out of a sow's ear.
The restaurateur/chef closed his Kendall restaurant after the condominium his restaurant was located in began work on improvements that covered up his exhaust system, forcing smoke back into the kitchen. As Ramos told Short Order, "People are complaining of teary eyes. If I have a restaurant filled with smoke, I'll lose my reputation."
Ramos was forced to close B&S yesterday after expressing concern about the 20 people that worked for him. But, like a phoenix rising out of smoke-filled ashes, Ramos is determined to make the best of a bad situation. The answer? Change his restaurant into a sandwich-drive concept and reopen in a few weeks. He said the answer came to him and his partners after they closed the doors to B&S. "I was just thinking, how can we stay in business?"
Barley and Wich, a craft beer and sandwich bar, will make its debut in the same location in, hopefully a few weeks. Ramos says he's waiting for paperwork to close the B&S Gastropub Corporation and reopen as Barley & Wich. "After that, I think things will go quickly. My staff is already trained."
Though the menu isn't finalized yet. Ramos says he's looking at offering seven or eight sandwiches made with slow-braised locally sourced meats and vegetables served on local, artisan bread -- possibly Zak the Baker's. "We're going to work with as many locally sourced products as we can." The restaurant will also feature a raw bar and over two dozen beers on tap. And if you're already jonesing for Ramos' croquetas, break into your happy dance, because they'll be on the menu.
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Ramos is optimistic about the change. "About six months ago I got my first tattoo. It reads, 'all things happen for a reason'. I think that sums up what's going on. We really are excited."
Barley & Wich is expected to open by the end of October and will serve lunch and dinner Tuesday - Sunday, as well as brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Stay tuned for details.