Three months ago, Surf City’s Gateway Plaza got a new resident: The Chug and Grub American Gastropub. I had never heard of a “gastropub” and was curious as to what one was. Bill and I were able to stop in for lunch last week and within ten minutes we became instant fans.
From the moment we stepped through its doors, everything about The Chug and Grup American Gastro Pub wowed us. From the urban feel and clean lines of its decor to the upscale bar, we realized that this pub was exactly what was needed in our small, beach town. It was a class act!
We asked if we could be seated at the bar and Sean, our server and bartender, happily obliged. He handed us a menu that was quite extensive. Not only was it vast, but the type of food fare and drink offerings made me feel like I was in a trendy hot spot in Durham, NC. (one of North Carolina’s foodie meccas)! I loved the vibe!
It took a while to decide what we wanted from the menu, as there were so many delicious sounding selections. Finally, Bill chose the “Beerunch Burger,” an Angus burger, topped with sausage gravy (infused with an IPA) and an egg, with a side of totchos (homemade tater tots). I decided to stay on the “lite” side and ordered the summer salad topped with seared tuna.
As we waited on our meals, I decided to do a quick Google check and look up the word, “gastropub.” Hmmm…”Wikipedia says, ‘A gastropub or gastrolounge is a bar and restaurant that serves high-end beer and food. The term was coined in the 1990s, but similar brewpubs existed during the 1980s.'” No wonder the food seemed so amazing. It was meant to be a more upscale fare than regular pub grub.
Chug and Grub’s American Gastropub’s Great Selection of Food and Beer
I watched as other patrons in the dining room received their orders and asked if I could take some pictures of their beautifully plated meals. Have you ever had menu remorse? I wished I’d ordered every plate that I photographed! Oh well, we’d have to come back to try these amazing looking dishes!
We chatted with the Sean, our server. He told us that the Chug and Grub American Gastropub was owned by Amy and Justin Surratt, a military couple who had relocated from the northeast twenty years ago to our golden shores! They were also the owners of The Oasis Bar, on Highway 17 in Hampstead. Amy and Justin had decided to take on a bit of adventure and expand their entrepreneurial skills to open the Chug and Grub. All I could think was “Thank God for people who didn’t mind a little adventure!
Our meals were brought to us and suddenly, Bill and I stopped talking and focused on what was on our plates. To me, that’s always a good sign the food is amazing. I couldn’t help but steal a few of the house made totchos off of his plate. They were so crunchy and tasty!
The Chug and Grub American Gastropub features an extensive lineup of North Carolina craft beers paired with a menu of gourmet burgers and chicken wings in various flavors and sauces. Sean said the Peanut Butter and Jelly wings seemed to be a favorite. It has been said that the peanut sauce is “killer.” There’s also a variety of other items on the menu.
Sean explained that the entree selections are for dinner only. In his opinion, they make the best rib eye in the Topsail Island area. Later I looked up their FaceBook page and was wowed by the pictures of their gourmet dinner specials. Bill and I will have to go back for a special night out! The food at this place is of great quality and doesn’t seem to be like the average burger, pizza and seafood joints you may expect. We were even surprised that the kid’s menu was great!
The “Chug” part of the restaurant’s name carries its weight as well as the “Grub” part of the name. There are fourteen beer taps on hand and a good wine list. The cocktails are handcrafted and can be as adventuresome or as classic as you like.
The Chug and Grub American Gastropub is open from 11:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. The kitchen closes at 9:30 p.m. and the bar stays open until 11:00. There are eight televisions that line the side walls of the restaurant building and one large one that sits nicely above the bar. I suppose many sports games will be watched from that beautiful bar while mountains of wonderful chicken wings and gourmet burgers are consumed! Oh yeah, there’s outside patio seating available too. Really, folks, this restaurant contains everything a good eating establishment can offer. All it needs is for you to come in and try its delicious food and spirits.
The Chug and Grub American Gastropub is located at: