Yesterday marked Bodega’s first day back in business since February. But more dramatic than its spatial changes—which include a new bar and a walk-up window—is its not-so-subtle repurposing as a bar first, restaurant second. Executive chef Marcus Meacham made a quiet exit during renovations (and is now the executive chef at Kraft House No. 5, opening in Powell at the end of the month), and the kitchen is now lead by former kitchen manager David Trimmer. Co-owner Collin Castore also sought the input of business partner and The Table co-owner Sang Lankhani in developing a condensed chicken-based menu. (The Table is also providing seasonal pies at $5 a slice.) The meat is all sourced from free-range, antibiotic-free purveyors and is smoked in-house, Castore says, with the aim being “smaller, simpler, seasonal.”
There’s no shortage of beer, either (though far fewer bottled offerings), with more than 40 tap lines behind the new bar. Also a first: Bodgea will start offering growlers this spring. Happy hour includes half-priced drafts, $3 Watershed gin and vodka, Bulleit bourbon, Barcardi rum and Espalon Tequila and $2-off wines.
There’s a new focus on cocktails, too, but not necessarily classics with a twist. “We’re going for some more new-school cocktails—a fresh, simple focus.” Castore says. “We have a strawberry and hibiscus-infused tequila cocktail for the summer I am very excited about.”
Bodega is still seeking several more people to fill out its kitchen, including a line cook and a dishwasher. Castore says they’re still “easing into the kitchen” but expects the menu to evolve and even expand throughout the year.
Bar hours are 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, with the kitchen closing at 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and midnight Thursday through Saturday.
Here’s a look at what’s on the menu:
Salads (half or whole)
-Kale: baby kale, bourbon-drenched golden raisins, croutons, blue cheese, apple cider vinaigrette ($5/$8)
-Romaine: smoked chicken, bacon, kiln-dried cherries, roasted corn, white cheddar, champagne vinaigrette ($6/$9)
Sandwiches (served on a brioche bun)
-Chicken: house smoke-fried chicken, bacon, tomato, romaine, garlic ailoi ($10)
-Fish: beer-battered cod, apple and fennel slaw, tarter sauce ($10)
Plates (smoked and fried or smoked and grilled)
-Two Piece: chicken, biscuit or cornbread, relish, pickled onions, honey and house hot sauce ($8)
-Four Piece: chicken, biscuit or cornbread, relish, pickled onions, honey and house hot sauce ($10)
-Whole Chicken: eight pieces, served with two buttermilk biscuits or cornbread, relish, pickled onions, honey and house hot sauce ($18)
-Fish: Seventh Son Strong Ale-battered cod, cheddar grits, relish, pickled onions, tarter sauce ($9)
Cornbread with honey ($2)
Biscuit with honey ($2)
Bacon-jalapeno hush puppies ($4)
Apple and fennel slaw ($3)
Mac and cheese ($5)
Corn relish (50 cents)
Seasonal pie from The Table ($5)