Barrel 31 (400 E 31st Street) gets rolling in Martini Corner today. The new whiskey-focused restaurant in the former Velvet Dog space is about comfort food and bourbon. The three-story space seats 150 people inside and an outdoor patio should open later this spring.
Executive Chef Austin Carpenter, who’s worked at Bluestem, Grand Street Cafe and Ya Ya’s European Bistro, is heading the kitchen. His menu features reinventions of some classic bar dishes. Beer and cheese soup has become gouda and ale fondue served with a Bavarian pretzel and house kettle chips. The deviled eggs are topped with bacon and a fried oyster and the burgers are a mix of ground brisket, chuck, steak trimmings and duck fat. Barrel 31 will serve lunch and dinner, as well as brunch. The weekend brunch menu ranges from ‘Wake the F’Up’ — a cornbread coffee cake, black coffee and a shot of Jameson — to the Croque Madame Satay (crispy pork belly, hard eggs, and gouda ale fondue on brioche).
The cocktail menu is all about whiskey. Barrel 31 will open with more than 60 whiskeys behind the bar. They’ll be serving them as flights and in cocktails. The Cask Manhattan has cherry and fig infused rye, sweet vermouth and bitters, while the Smashing Pumpkin has Rittenhouse Rye, Triple Sec, brown sugar simple syrup and pumpkin puree. Those who feel lucky can try the ‘Paper Bag Special,’ the bar’s version of a mystery beer that comes wrapped in a brown paper bag. Barrel 31’s happy hour runs from 3 to 6:47 p.m. Monday through Friday. The last minute is a big one — an homage to the minute that Jack Daniels purportedly died — with shots of Jack and Jack Daniels Honey running $3.
Barrel 31 will be open from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. Brunch will be served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The phone number is 816-569-3801.[Images via Facebook: Barrel 31]