By Mia Finley
“Gastropub is overused; everyone uses that damn phrase,” says Randy Barnette. “We’re trying to use the phrase ‘polished pub.'”
Barnette, owner of Ornery Beer Company, will open the brewery’s doors today. But it’s not just a brewery. “Guests can enjoy the feel of being at a tasting bar with our outdoor beer garden or walk to the opposite side for a full restaurant experience,” Barnette says. With over 15 years in the restaurant business as an owner of two Hard Times Cafes (Manassas and Woodbridge) and as an investor with Mad Fox Brewing Company, he wanted something different.
“I knew I wanted to create something that was halfway between what Mad Fox wants to be and what a Buffalo Wild Wings or Hard Times wants to be. What’s the middle point between those two?” he says.
Meeting head brewer Chris Jacques made the vision a reality after they crossed paths at Mad Fox. “I knew that Chris left a trail of people that loved his beers everywhere he went,” Barnette says. “We hit it off. We mesh together better than any two people should.”
Combine that with head chef Evan Buchholz, educated at the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute and hailing from the kitchens of Rustico, Rosa Mexicano and American Flatbread, and Ornery Beer becomes a legitimate restaurant. Buchholz hopes to elevate American pub dishes with locally sourced meats. Expect about 10 beers on tap. / Opening Aug. 17: Ornery Beer Company; 14389 Potomac Mills Road, Woodbridge