Raise the Bar: Lockhart’s features lower level bar 

Get down on it


Chances are you've heard of Lockhart's BBQ. The restaurant is sister to the Royal Oak Brewery, and the two are just around the corner from each other. While Royal Oak Brewery's speciality is, obviously, beer, while Lockhart's is, obviously, barbecue the two share a similar aesthetic, laid-back vibe, and customer base.

Fans of Lockhart's are familiar with its expansive main floor dining room — tables of varying sizes litter the floor and sunshine pours in through floor-to-ceiling windows. They know to check out the chalkboard for a list of craft beers available from the bar. They know they can count on the kitchen to turn out tasty ribs, burnt ends, barbecue nachos, and chili (among other meaty delicacies), and they know they'll leave full and, hopefully, just a bit tipsy.

What they might not know is that they've only experienced half of what Lockhart's BBQ has to offer.

In late 2014 Lockhart's underwent renovations that doubled their square footage. The basement was built out, becoming a large dining room outfitted with flat-screen TVs and two bars.

"We just want people to come see it," says Stephanie Atias, Lockhart's general manager. "It's still kind of a hidden secret."

So to get the word out Atais and her staff are launching Lockdown Thursdays, a new promotion that they're hoping will help people get acquainted with Lockhart's lower level. Five-dollar appetizers, $4 select craft beer pours, $4 glasses of wine, $3 well drinks, and $2.50 domestics will be offered from 6 p.m. to close.

That means the lower level, which seats up to 100 people, will be serving cheaper drinks and food than the main floor. There's no catch, you just have to sit downstairs. And we're not talking about some dank basement, it's a genuinely enjoyable environment down there.

"It's a great place to watch the game," says Atais. "We have five 70-inch flat-screen TVs and we play whatever our guests want to watch.

"We do a great job of rotating in limited edition stuff — beer snobs love it. We have 16 taps for crafts and five craft bottles. We also have a full cocktail menu and in the next month or so we'll be introducing a new spring cocktail. We also recently starting infusing our own spirits. We have a jalapeno-infused tequila and a vanilla coffee-infused whiskey."

The bar also carries a couple locally made spirits like Valentine Vodka and Gypsy Vodka, though they generally focus on craft beers. In fact, they tend to pull some really exciting and hard-to-find brews.

On Thursday, Feb. 25 they'll be getting a rare shipment of Short Brewing's Batch 5000. They'll get 12 bottles of the incredibly limited edition beer and customers can call ahead of time to preorder a bottle. According to Atais, the shipment is one of the largest to a single outlet in the area. The small supply is so in demand that distributors have been splitting up cases, leaving as few as four bottles at some bars and retailers.

Batch 5000 is just one example of the exciting promotions the bar is running in order to garner some attention. Atais says they'll continue to host brewery spotlights and liquor promotions that will make every visit to Lockhart's BBQ's lower level a unique experience.

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