Kelly Jones, a longtime motorcycle man, established his cred as a leader of the pack at his popular midtown tavern Broadway Brewhouse, which backs up to Mojo Grill, where pepper-head Ed Arace cooks up the best damned bar grub in town. Housed in the former Pig & Pie building on the far west side of town, Jones’ second Brewhouse is the perfect watering hole for bikers coming off an afternoon ride down winding River Road. But you don’t have to be a biker to enjoy Brewhouse West; come twice, and the bartender and waitresses will treat you like a regular. That’s not dissimilar from the original on Broadway, but the one on Charlotte is at least three times as big, with seating indoors and out. Just like at the Broadway branch, a customer would be hard-pressed to order a beer Brewhouse doesn’t carry—and beer is the best beverage to complement Arace’s menu, much of which originated in town. House specialties include Mojo’s signature jerk chicken, a juicy roasted half-chicken marinated in island spices; and Santa Fe chicken, seasoned Southwestern style, with big chunks pulled from the bone and served with red beans and rice.
Broadway Brewhouse took over the short-lived Casabona Italian restaurant, which had taken over a furniture showroom in a storefront building on Lower Broad. Owner Kelly Jones has a proven track record with his two other Brewhouses — one in Midtown and one in Bellevue — and he has teamed up with a man who knows downtown nightlife, Hardy Ross, a co-owner of the thriving Rippy’s at the corner of Fifth and Broad. There are 72 kinds of beer in bottles and on draft behind the 60-foot bar to accompany the roadhouse menu, masterminded by chef Ed Arace.
Chef/co-owner Ed Arace cooks guy food: filling, hearty and usually spicy. Exhibit A: The New Mexico potatoes are a heaping plate of new potatoes roasted with ground chili pepper and cumin, then topped with queso sauce, chopped tomatoes, green onions and jalapeño peppers. Roasted hot wings with mild gringo sauce and the tongue-lashing Mojo wow with habanero sauce are other standouts. If you can’t stand the heat, Broadway Brewhouse, home to 100 bottles of beer on the wall, stands directly in back.
Broadway Brewhouse is now playing on Lower Broad, taking over the former Harley Holt furniture store briefly occupied by Casa Bona restaurant. The other two locations—the original in midtown backed up to Mojo Grill, and Brewhouse West on Highway 70—remain open and thriving. Co-owner Kelly Jones says he wasn’t particularly looking to open a third, but his friend, and now partner, Hardy Ross made him a deal he couldn’t refuse. “Hardy has Rippy’s downtown, so he knows the area pretty well,” says Jones, speaking loudly over the hubbub of construction and service crews putting the final touches on the transformation of the Italian restaurant into a decidedly downscaled roadhouse. “He and I ski together, and last winter at Beaver Creek he said there might be a space opening up soon on Lower Broad. Next thing I knew, he called and told me we had it. I didn’t even know exactly where it was, but with everything that’s happening downtown, I figured I’d better get in while we still can.” …read entire article