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A new 'Brews'

Downtown mainstay reopens with a new look


October 13, 2008

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    Walking into the newly renovated Statesboro Brews when it reopened Aug. 8, patrons were greeted by a freshly-remodeled dining room and bar, soft music wafting from near the baby grand piano, and a “welcome” from owner Gail Ansley, who was stationed near the entrance for the majority of the evening.
    The restaurant has been closed for the past 30 days — downtime that Ansley used to renovate the interior of Statesboro Brews, which has been in operation in downtown Statesboro since December 2006.
    “When we found out that we were going to be closed, we decided to do the renovation anyway,” Ansley said.
    “I could have hired contractors and people like that, but these kids needed to work … if I were not open, they would have been unemployed for 30 days, and most could not afford to take a one-month vacation and not get paid.”
    Ansley attributes much of the success of the renovation to her staff, which includes students at Georgia Southern.
    “My staff is supportive and interested in the business and Statesboro Brews’ success,” Ansley said.
    “All the employees came in and did all the renovations and all the painting, and kept their jobs (while the restaurant was closed) … it has given them so much more pride in Statesboro Brews, and more ownership.”
    Changes at the restaurant include a six-foot extension to the bar, addition of a television behind the bar, and a second dining room complete with a new fireplace.
    “We opened up a wall, added the fireplace, repainted, and added several new lights to give (the restaurant) a romantic softness,” Ansley said.
    In addition to physical changes, the menu has also been updated to include a pasta dish, a burger, and southern classics like fried catfish and collards.
    Statesboro Brews offers themed nights, including “Wine-down Wednesday,” where guests can enjoy select wines at half price with an on-the-house cheese plate, and “Tuscan Thursdays” that offer a selection of Italian dishes in addition to usual menu selections. The bar’s offerings include an extensive wine selection, and over a page of unique specialty martinis like “Mint Chocolate Chip” and “Blueberry Pancakes” in addition to a selection of beer and mixed drinks.
    The atmosphere at Statesboro Brews is, as Ansley describes it, “very elegant and comfortable … everybody that comes in here says that they feel like they’ve just left Statesboro.”
    “It’s like the older, better-established places in Atlanta, Savannah and Charleston,” Ansley said. “It’s warm and cozy, while sophisticated and chic.”
    Statesboro Brews is located at 24 West Main Street in downtown Statesboro, and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. until midnight.w

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