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By Corie Maue, Temecula
In late 2013, an Old Town Temecula kitchen quietly closed.
Would this be the end of another beloved gathering place–another tale of one who tried, but just could not quite make it? Thankfully, the story of Crush & Brew is quite the opposite – a happy ending. Strike that; a happy beginning.
Although a risk, the kitchen closure and subsequent reopening was a strategic move that paid off exactly as planned: with increased sales and delighted customers. “We had been serving salads and panini’s from the beginning, but our clients were hungry for more,” said manager Spencer Szczygiel. “It was time to bite the bullet and expand the space from a prep area with a panini press to a full service kitchen.”
Executive Chef Daragh Matheson was at the ready to redesign the menu, which now features favorites like… the Brew Burger (Kobe beef, sauteed onions, mushrooms, Gorgonzola)
From Fish & Chips, and a creamy, cheesey-licious Mac & Cheese (with bacon!).
“Our simpler fare was always a hit, designed to pair well with beer and wine, but our clients wanted more,” said Matheson. “Offering some heartier dishes, and more elevated fare, is a win all around.”
When deciding which items to add to the menu, Matheson had plenty of resources to draw from. As Executive Chef of the Restaurant at Leoness and culinary instructor at Chaffey College, he seeks to add a creative twist to traditional dishes while maintaining a balance of flavors in every bite.
Not one to sit still for long, Matheson has further plans for the menu at Crush & Brew.
“I’d really like to bring some gluten free options to the table,” he remarked, noting that the gluten free pastas and other offerings featured at Leoness are overwhelmingly popular.
“Daragh’s food is the perfect compliment to our selection of local beer and wine,” said Szczygiel. “Our guests are loving the new menu and we are busier than ever.”
With over 30 taps, all of which feature beer from the Inland Empire (Southwest Riverside County), or San Diego County, and about the same number of wine varietals offered from nine artisan wineries, Crush & Brew offers a beverage to please any palate. The always popular local beer and wine selections, combined with the expanded menu, all offered daily for lunch and dinner.
Guests can enjoy Happy Hour daily from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. and live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Check the web site and the Temecula Grapevine calendar for events schedule.
“We can’t wait to see what the new year brings,” Szczygiel said. “The best is yet to come.”
Crush & Brew is located: 28544 Front Street, Temecula CA
On the web: http://www.crushnbrew.com/
Or call: 951-693-4567
Story by Corie Maue
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