Schaumburg, IL (July 22, 2019) – When Granite City Food & Brewery opened its first location in St. Cloud, MN in 1999 it was at the forefront of what would become the craft beer explosion. Twenty years later, with 32 locations from the upper Midwest to Washington DC, the brand is reimagining its menu, beer and cocktail list, uniforms and overall guest experience.
Launching on February 21, Granite City will become “The Birthplace of Unseriously Good Times”.
GC will add 44 new menu items, 25 new cocktails and wines, over ten new seasonal beers, introduce new brewery-inspired uniforms and retail merchandising inside the restaurant. And this comes on the heels of the hugely successful “Lawless Brunch” that launched just last December.
“Granite City has always been a place where friends meet to enjoy freshly brewed craft beer and eat food that’s born for beer…a place where people go to relax, share, and socialize, in other words, get ‘unserious’”, said Dick Lynch, CEO. “Now we’re taking that to a whole new level”. To bring this to life, Granite City has added entirely new sections to its menu to encourage sharing and socializing: Small Plates, Sharable Entrees, Table Sides, and Shareable Cocktails. “This is how our guests eat today”, said Weston Baril, V.P. Culinary. “Now at Granite City they’ll have 18 small plates to share from Mama Mia Meatballs to Poke Tuna Tostadas. Or 16 shareable entrees and table-sides to pass like The Wharf, a platter of beer-battered cod, crispy jumbo shrimp, corn fritters and malt vinegar shoestring fries. We’re still all about comfort classics with a twist, but now the menu is designed to create an experience built around sharing and socializing, not just eating.”
In addition to the new menu, Granite City is stepping up its beer innovation having already introduced Wicked Juicy IPA in January and The Hustle Coffee Cream Ale in February. “We’re brewing over 14 different seasonal recipes this year, of which 8 of them are brand new styles for our guests enjoyment. Nobody can’t have fun while drinking beer and our craft beer program is at the heart of what makes us “unserious”, said RJ Nab, VP Brewmaster.
Not to be outdone, the cocktail and wine list is getting a serious makeover as well, with nearly 25 new cocktails, wines, and bubbly drinks like hard seltzers. “You won’t see anything like our Shareable Cocktails anywhere else”, said Michael McBride, VP Operations. “We have an entire section dedicated to cocktails created and served to be shared, like the Perfect Clooney-Rita, a huge shareable shaker-full of deliciousness, starring Casamigo’s Blanco tequila, premium orange liqueur, and fresh-squeezed lime juice. It’s a veritable waterfall of unseriously good fun being poured table-side.”
The guest experience is changing as well. Guests will see new uniforms inspired by Granite City’s brewery roots as well as retail merchandising inside the restaurant offering Granite City’s coveted Beer Gear. Updates to Granite City’s training program, built around their unique Craft Beer Hospitality experience model, has been implemented based on the enormous success of the recently introduced Lawless Brunch. At Lawless Brunch, each guest is encouraged to create their own experience. To encourage Unseriously Good Times going forward, the servers and bartenders will now be known as “Ambassadors of Fun”. Their role is to ensure that every guest has the most relaxed, best time possible when at Granite City.
“Granite City broke new ground in 1999 when it brewed craft beer right in the same four walls as our restaurant. We’re breaking new ground again with this exciting new menu, aggressive beer innovation, and original new cocktails”, said Lynch. “I dare you to come into Granite City and not leave ‘unserious’”.
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