New Times SLO
By Hayley Thomas
At SLO Brew, epic food, cold craft beer, and dynamic live music have collided under a whole new roof. As downtown SLO’s longest running brew pub since prohibition, the iconic hangout continues its 27-year history on Higuera Street with an upgraded brewery, restaurant, and menu. New SLO Brew Executive Chef Fundaro is known for his work at Villa Creek Restaurant and Trumpet Vine Tapas and Wine Bar in Paso Robles as well as Eli’s Manhattan and the Vinegar Factory in New York City.
“I have a great opportunity to create an interesting but approachable menu that caters to the fun group atmosphere that has always been part of the SLO Brew ethos,” Fundaro said. “I’m looking forward to utilizing local products from regional farmers to create dishes that will proudly represent San Luis Obispo’s unique gastropub cuisine.”
With an emphasis on sharable plates that “feed the table,” the menu features a range of casual and more sophisticated bites, including artisan cheese plates paired with SLO Brew beer, fried calamari and artichoke hearts, chicken wings smothered in buffalo, jerked, or tangy tamarind glaze, and Hearst Ranch beef burgers served on Hush Harbor brioche buns (in a comfort food mood? Go for the chicken and waffles topped with herbed pan gravy and grilled pear).
SLO Brew’s new signature pizzas also offer up flavor profiles that will appease college students and foodies alike (all pizzas are now topped with fresh greens and lemon vinaigrette, but you can still get a no-frills “Brew ‘Za,” with sausage, pancetta, and pepperoni). For the health conscious, the “Green Pie” features spinach pesto, ‘shrooms, and leeks, and the “’Za of the Day” is sprinkled with seasonal, market-fresh ingredients. Creative menu additions also include a grown-up poached tuna Nicoise Salad, a hearty, aromatic “Beer Cheese” soup, and an “Aussie Meat Pie” stuffed with shallots, gravy, and a whole lot of love.
Opening in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo at 736 Higuera Street in the spring, the new locale stands just a few hundred feet away from the original Garden Street location. Here, a rustic and industrial ambiance harkens to the past, yet is energized by a jolt of steampunk inspiration. Of course, the house beer is still flowing, and the pub now offers their freshly brewed craft creations with over a dozen different varieties on tap (while you’re at the bar, don’t forget to try their SLO Brew Rye Whiskey). After all the renovations and buzz, SLO Brew is still—at its heart—a neighborhood brew pub.
“SLO Brew would not be complete without the original copper brewing kettle and brewing tanks that have been cooking up SLO Brew beer since 1988,” said General Manager Todd Brown. “They are an integral part of the handcrafted SLO Brew experience, and as a nod to the pub’s storied past, they have a new home on Higuera.”