Is open. Stopped in last night for a bite after that big B's OT win. I can't really comment on the food because I was three shreets but the place is big and open and looks cool and I remember eating fried pickles and a hamburger in a fajita wrapper. That is all.
Tried a veggie wrap - it was disappointing. Fries were curly fries that were not impressive in any way. Tried a couple of the cocktails, but again, nothing stood out. It's large, I can say that. Waitstaff are of the "I might be too cool to wait on you" variety. Afterwork spot for beers if you need a place not to be too cramped in is where I would rate it.
So I had a chance to try Scholars on Friday night. My friends and I were completely unimpressed, unfortunately. From the descriptions on the menu, the food sounded very nice, but the execution was totally different.
This place hit all of my pet peeves about restaurants, which isn't usually easy to do. First, it was so loud that we had to scream at each other across the table, and we needed the waitress to repeat herself while leaning down into the table.
Second, the first four things we tried to order from the menu, they were out of. I finally said to the waitress that it might be easier to point out what they did have for sale. Granted, it was 9pm on a Friday night, but this isn't some little mom and pop operation.
Third, we waited quite some time (maybe 20 minutes) for the appetizers to arrive, and they were stone cold. My friend sent back his Onion Soup because it was too cold to enjoy eating; the cheese on the crouton had started congealing already. Then, before his reheated soup could be returned, we were served the entrees. Again, all the entrees were room temperature.
Finally, portions were out of all control. The appetizers were enormous. I had what was described as "Braised Beef Tongue Sliders with Gremolata, Pickled Beets", which ended up being a large bulkie-sized roll, cut into quarters, and stuffed with thin slices of what I had to assume was tongue, but looked and tasted more like roast beef. It also came piled high with curly fries, and the beets were nowhere to be found. Since I had ordered fish and chips to follow, this was an unwelcome surprise. Also, since the fries were cold and soggy, it was a mess. If this had been good, it would have made a substantial meal in itself. Considering the $13 price tag, I guess I should have expected a large portion.
The Fish and Chips I had were advertised as "Jalapeño Breaded Haddock, Lime Parmesan Frites, Smoked Paprika Tartar Sauce". What came was a huge piece of fish, with a paper thin batter coating that looked like it had been sprinkled with paprika. There was no hint of any Jalapeno in this. The "Frites" were the same curly fries from the appetizer, with a sparse sprinkle of kraft parmesan cheese on them, and no hint at all of any lime. The "Tartar Sauce" was a plastic cup of what was obviously mayo squeezed out of a bottle and incompletely mixed with something that turned it a somewhat brick red color.
Oh, and did I mention that everything was cold and soggy? My friend ordered the steak and the pile of mashed potatoes was refrigerator cold in the middle. My other friend ordered the mac and cheese which was supposed to have linguica on it. There was an entire sausage dumped on top, partially sliced. No way was that linguica. It was kielbasa.
I'm sorry, but serving me disgustingly huge portions of completely tasteless food at a high price is not a way to run a successful restaurant. I predict that within a year, this place will have closed due to the "economy".
I've since been back 5 or 6 times. It is strictly a beers and pool joint for me at this point. For that, it's a welcome spot downtown. I got sucked into eating a few more times and have been unimpressed with the house burger (tasted like it was dipped in syrup), pork belly, and fish and chips. Maybe a couple other apps.
They are doing such a great bar business that I doubt the ambitious sounding menu will last, though it would be great if they made some kitchen improvements.