Food, entertainment on tap at Brick Street Tavern
By Shavonne Potts
From general store to clothing store, sewing machine factory, pool hall and now a tavern. Brick Street Tavern has seen many reincarnations ó well, at least the building has.
The restaurant, 122 E. Fisher St., has been open since September, and owner John Casey expects it to be a place for family and friends alike to meet for good food.
Many may remember the building when it housed Las Palmas restaurant. That restaurant eventually folded, and Casey, along with a couple of other investors, created Brick Street.
Casey owns the establishment, and his daughter, Jennifer Casey, is the general manager.
The father-daughter team admits they tried to keep the southwestern flair of Las Palmas alive but soon abandoned that for a “tavern concept.”
The southwestern theme “didn’t define who we were,” Jennifer said.
The previous theme also didn’t complement the talent and abilities of their chef, Scott Staley, she said.
The duo started with the menu. It took about six months to play around with different foods and create a menu they were pleased with.
The menu includes “hearty foods,” John said, such as shepherd’s pie, fish and chips, steak and burgers. The restaurant’s best-seller fried pickles remain on the menu. Other entrees include jambalaya, tavern-style fajitas, pasta dishes, wraps, soups and salads.
The Caseys are proud of the restaurant’s food and its decor.
Chef Staley says the food is all fresh and prepared when ordered. There are no frozen patties at this restaurant.
“We are trying something you’re not going to find in town,” Staley said.
John Casey said the food is well worth the trip to Brick Street.
“The atmosphere enhances it. It’s a meeting place. You’re not going to be a stranger,” he said.
You’ll often see a group of people gather at the restaurant and pull a few tables together, Jennifer said.
The restaurant has already held a wedding and birthday party.
Jennifer and John estimate their restaurant’s patrons are typically in their late 20s and older.
The restaurant attracts college students, couples and families.
The restaurant is smoke free until 8:30 p.m. on week nights and 9:30 p.m. on weekends.
“There’s something for everybody here,” Staley said.
You don’t have to dress up to eat at the restaurant, Jennifer said.
“We try to treat our customers like they are our only customer,” John said.
The kitchen staff takes pride in what leaves their kitchen, he said.
Jennifer and John say they aren’t in competition with surrounding restaurants.
In fact, they welcome people to partake of all that the Fisher Street entertainment district has to offer.
“The city has put a lot of money into Fisher Street. It should bode well for all of us,” said longtime bartender Bobby Miller.
The group hopes there are more downtown events like Nite Out.
“There’s a lot of good things going on in Salisbury,” John said.
Dining with history
The building was first built in 1906 and operated as a general store, V. Wallace & Sons, where Expressions is located. The building soon expanded.
In the 1920s, wagons pulled around the back to load up goods headed throughout the Southeast, John said.
A sewing machine factory operated out of the second floor of the building.
The building also held the Friendly Cue for 20 years. It closed in 1987 when Las Palmas took over.
Las Palmas closed in January 2008.
Open mic, music
The restaurant started open mic night every other Tuesday, alternating with acoustic performances on the other Tuesdays.
Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen, a regular Las Palmas performer, is slated for a 7:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Saturday performance. Cohen will perform every other Saturday.
The restaurant is open 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 5 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Friday through Saturday, 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m. on Sundays. The business is closed Mondays.
The bar remains open well past midnight, sometimes until 2 a.m.
The restaurant will have a ribbon cutting today at 4:30 p.m.