New Eats: A new hangout for the new year

Published 8:37 pm Thursday, December 27, 2012

Roger and Joan Meyland, owners of Grub Brothers Eatery, pose with their pet pig (sculpture) named “Whiskey Ba’con” (pronounced “Bake-on”). The newest downtown Washington restaurant and bar will be open until 2 a.m. on New Year’s Day. WDN Photo|Vail Stewart Rumley

No plans New Year’s Eve? Perhaps you may be looking for something a bit less dress-up and more down-home?
According to Joan and Roger Meyland, owners of Grub Brothers Eatery and Little Brown Jug, Washington’s newest restaurant and bar may be just the place to hang a party hat on New Year’s Eve.
The kitchen will open at 10:30 a.m., close around 11 p.m., but the bar will be open and serving food from the bar menu to New Year’s revelers until 2 a.m., according to Joan Meyland. Live entertainment will come in the form of a digital jukebox with a twist: in addition to the thousands of songs — from old-school country to the latest R&B — from which to choose, the machine doubles as a photo booth.
“I’ve had all different ages take pictures. The kids come over to use it, then the older kids come over,” said Joan Meyland. “We just wanted it to be fun — medium-priced, for all ages — just fun.”
The restaurant takes over the Main Street space formerly known as Pia’s and offers up fare that the Meylands call a little low country, with a kick of Cajun and a whole lot of Southern.
“We’re not country — we’re Southern,” Meyland laughed.
The South is redolent in the
updated décor: corrugated metal sheeting backs the bar and lightens the walls, a multi-tiered chandelier crafted from beer bottles hangs at its entrance and a lighted sculpture of a pig the Meylands have christened “Whiskey Bac’on” presides over the bar. Decorating will be an evolution, said Joan Meyland, because the two felt it was more important to get open and start serving up appetizers like “Possum in the Trash,” a pile of nachos topped with pork, Grub barbecue sauce and queso. Joan Meyland said since Grub’s (the shortened version of the name) opening on Dec. 14 for a private party, burgers, shrimp and pimiento cheese grits and their selection of craft beer have been big hits with customers.
The Meylands are no strangers to the restaurant business: The Rumor Mill and, later, The Mill, were both owned by Meyland, both in the same space Grub Brothers Eatery is in now.
“We’d been planning (to open a restaurant) for awhile, but not at this location,” Joan Meyland explained. “But the location became available and we decided, ‘Why not come back here?’”
Roger Meyland said he feels the lack of a restaurant in the spot, when one has been there for many years, may have hampered other downtown businesses.
“People have been missing (the draw of) Pia’s — foot traffic downtown sells stuff,” Roger Meyland said.
Joan Meyland said she appreciates the chance for Grub’s to make a positive impact downtown.
“It felt good when I was hiring people because it felt like people were down and out about their jobs,” Joan Meyland said.
The Meylands said they are pleased with the Grub Brothers Eatery and Little Brown Jug as a work in progress, with daily specials, a full kids menu and more decoration to come.
“I think right now we’re just celebrating every day,” Joan Meyland said.
For more information about Grub Brothers Eatery and Little Brown Jug visit their page on Facebook.