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First look at the Yard House at the Banks

The kind folks at the Yard House invited me and about 500 other people to a sneak preview event on Friday night.  I’m sure the traditional media, food bloggers, and Yelpers will do a great job of providing more thorough reviews, so I will just share a few of my beer nerd thoughts about the joint.

  • 160+ lines of draft beer is really damn impressive.  The glass-enclosed keg refrigerator room is a pretty awesome site with keg upon keg stacked up pumping beer above your head to the wall of taps in the middle of the restaurant.
  • The standard and craft beer selection is pretty good.  Initially scanning over the list a few days back didn’t impress me but then as I read through the four page beer menu I changed my mind.  I also like that they have a chalkboard series (which is actually on a TV at the bar) that rotates in different local or more rare selections.  I locked eyes on this upon walking in and immediately jumped on the Rivertown Infinite Schilling.  They also have chalkboard bottle series which currently includes Rivertown Old Sour Cherry Porter at 23 bucks – ouch.
  • Some of the bar tenders were very knowledgeable about the beers and helped patrons find something they would like or suggested beer styles.  Some even know some background on the beers to provide additional info.  Others were less knowledgeable, which is to be expected for a new place.
  • Beer is served in a few sizes from snifter to (what I believe is a) half yard.  Fun fact: The restaurant took its name from the 3-foot-tall glass containers originally designed in Great Britain and used to hand stagecoach drivers after a long journey by horse drawn carriage.
  • I thought the beer prices were a little high with most pints ranging from $6.25-$7.
  • They had a few beer cocktails on the menu, which is pretty cool.
  • The bites of food they were serving was pretty good but I can’t make a complete assessment.  As a Darden restaurant, you’ll probably find fare similar to what you see at a Longhorn.

Overall I think this is an excellent addition to the Banks area and provides a great new food and beverage option.  It really adds a piece of class to the area and provides a nice mix of chain vs. independent establishments.  It should also help keep some of the others places on their toes to ensure they continue to provide a great experience.  It officially opens to the public Sunday so make plans to head down there soon, it’s definitely worth the visit!

Mike Stuart

Craft beer enthusiast and hombrew dabbler. Part-time writer, sometimes funny.

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