Two brothers hope to spotlight the best of the Mid-Columbia when they open the Fox and Bear Public House this month in Richland.
The restaurant and pub will feature local wines and beers and a rotating menu highlighting the Mid-Columbia’s bounty of fresh foods.
Owner Daniel de Groof has leased the former second-story restaurant space at 430 George Washington Way that Katya’s Bistro called home for seven years. Katya’s closed in August.
De Groof’s brother, Peter, is the restaurant’s chef.
“We are fans of what this region produces,” Daniel de Groof said. “We like the beer and wine and food that is here, so why not use it?”
De Groof said the ‘public house’ is something he has been dreaming about for years. He quit his job at the Department of Energy earlier this year to bring the dream to reality.
“This is something we have been planning for awhile,” he said. “We have been working on this concept for several years.”
De Groof said he has noticed the growing trend of successful, small local tap houses and microbreweries that are drawing good crowds, like Atomic Brew Pub, Mackay’s Tap House, Ice Harbor and White Bluff’s Brewing.
When he discovered Katya’s was available, everything seemed to fit into place.
De Groof said it seemed like a good spot for the Fox and Bear Public House.
“The space leant itself to what we were trying to do,” he said. “It’s a comfortable environment.”
They had hoped to open in September, but adding a draft bar to the restaurant took longer than expected.
The draft bar will offer 10 tap beers and there will be an additional 20 beers available by the bottle. He said there will be rotating selection of ales, lagers, porters, stouts and IPAs, including beers from local microbreweries, like White Bluffs.
De Groof said the Public House also will feature many regional wines, including Barnard Griffin, Kiona, Kestrel, Davenlore, Desert Wind and Goose Ridge.
Peter de Groof will offer a rotating menu that is locally inspired. He will use fresh ingredients and make nearly everything from scratch.
“He is going to make everything he can from scratch,” said de Groof.
De Groof said his brother has a culinary degree and worked in Atlanta for several years before moving to China to teach English.
The menu will include some small plates and appetizers, sandwiches served with homemade potato chips, entrees and desserts.
Construction should be complete on the space by mid-October and de Groof hopes for a soft opening the following week.
De Groof said the restaurant will be family run but they will be hiring a handful of servers and kitchen staff.
“It’s not a big space, but the way it is laid out, you do need more than one person to work a shift,” he said.
De Groof said the goal is to make the Public House a gathering place where people can congregate, and enjoy great food, drink and each other’s company.
“We aren’t trying to do anything tricky or fancy,” he said. “This is very personal to us and we want to make sure people enjoy themselves.”
The Fox and Bear Public House is at 430 George Washington Way. For more information about the grand opening and hours, look for its Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @FoxandBearPH.