Alton Road's Chow Down Grill will be closing up shop within a month. But owner and chef, Josh Marcus, has plans to keep the space for a new concept called Brewhouse.
The concept shift will center around an extensive beer selection and a gastropub-style menu.
Half of the restaurant's tables will be shifted to one side, while the other half will be converted into an indoor game room of sorts -- complete with an indoor bocce court, skee ball, life-size Jenga, and the like.
"We feel in the past year or so, many wonderful Asian-inspired restaurants have opened, and the market has gotten a little stacked against us," says Marcus. "We switched the Surfside restaurant to a deli because I am Jewish and it made sense."
"Not many restauranteurs switch their concept... this will be the second time we have done so, and if it work's out like the first time [with the deli], we will be fine."
Marcus confirmed that tables will be moved to the front of the restaurant and the old dining area (if you're facing the hostess counter, the dining area is to your right) will be filled with games like bocce, skee ball, darts, and pool.
As for the menu at Brewhouse, South Beach will surely miss Marcus's special dumplings (read on to see what's happening to those, by the way), "but now we are going Irish... because my two partners are Irish," he says.
"An Irish menu is an American menu, and we plan on utilizing everything that this type of menu can afford." Expect many sharable bar food items, sandwiches, and inexpensive entree prices. "Pretty much everything is under 20 bucks," he says.
The game room will be redecorated by local artist Lebo. "He's taking his inspiration from the games themselves and creating a shrine to every game we played as kids. Because it's a rich tapestry of emotions in all of us," Marcus says.
The turnover will happen rather quickly -- within a month's time. As for the skeleton of the Chow Down Grill concept, the four most popular food items will shift on to Brewhouse's menu (General O'tzo, egg rolls, ribs, and chicken dumplings). Josh's Deli will be delivering the corned beef for Brewhouse's corned beef and cabbage.
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"It will work in Miami because date night consist of dinner and a movie and we all do it... over and over. But Brewhouse will offer a complete change of pace to your old date night. Dinner and some fun. Meet like-minded people, have a few drinks, play giant Jenga, and laugh."
"It's a tough world," Marcus says. "We should be able to laugh."
Follow Alex on Twitter @ARodWrites.