Bear Republic Brewery in Healdsburg - Any good?
Wife and I went to this place during the labor day weekend, 2009, ordered a black and blue (blue cheese, avacado, bacon) burger, fried calamari, and a beer sampler. Total came out to $41 w/o tips.
My medium rare burger was very good, no complaints. Tomatoes, onions, avocado, blue cheese, and lettuce was very fresh, as well as the meat. The calamari was excellent; not burnt/overdone, and the calamari was fried most excellent--batter coating was light, and they used was some type of crispy/crunchy corn flour/meal.
I did not experience the "bad" service that some reviewers mentioned on Yelp, because we just ordered our beer and food at the bar, watched some colelge football on the LCD, and everything was good. No other service needed. Beer review: we're beer lighweights so we had a mild buzz after finishing off most of the samplers. What I did not really like were some of the higher alcohol beers (7.5 to 10%)--including the famed Racer 5--too much poison for us. The black mamba was okay for me though, reminded me a bit of a Guinesss.
If your party likes beer and a working brewery aroma, the Bear Republic might suit you well. The patio is definitely big enough for your party. They make some great beer, and a decent grade of pub food. They aren't always as consistent as I like.
I had a chance for lunch at the Cyrus managed Healdsburg Bar and Grill on May 16. Very fast and attentive service, tasty food, and an obvious desire to craft an excellent reputation. They are definitely trying hard. Prices were reasonable and the salad and fries I had were excellent.
I would opt for Hbg Bar & Grill or Santi. Barndiva is way too expensive for what you get and they act as if you're lucky to be eating there. The Bear Repulic's food is mediocre at best. I have eaten at Hbg Bar & Grill since the take over and service seemed better and food still good, but not necessarily great. They have also reduced the menu substantially though.
Santi is fabulous, lovely outdoor area, service always great and food inventive.
Good for a brewpub, but that's about as much as one can say.
For you, I'd like to hear more about the changes at the Healdsburg Bar & Grill, which also has a patio and pretty big space. The team from Cyrus has taken over and I haven't had a chance to check it out. Here's biteclub's early report,
Healdsburg Bar & Grill
245 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, CA
re: Melanie Wong
Every spot talked about on this board has bad reviews too, so if you're looking for a perfect record, it doesn't exist.
Have you considered Barndiva? It has a lot of space for a bigger group. Haven't been back for a long time, maybe someone here can provide an update.
If you can drive a little further up to Geyserville, Santi works well for groups. I've had 12 people there on a Saturday night a few times with no hiccups in service or food quality.
You can check the Place links for more info.
Edited to add: There's much more than one rec for Bear Republic on this board. Here's the search result going back 5 years.
231 Center St, Healdsburg, CA 95448
2097 Stagecoach Road, Suite 100, Santa Rosa, CA 95404