Barrel + Brine fermentation-powered cafe sets Chandler Street opening

Barrel + Brine fermentation-powered cafe sets Chandler Street opening

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The Barrel + Brine fermented foods restaurant and store on Chandler Street has set its opening for June 12.

Lindsey and RJ Marvin will be offering food and drinks, many made with pickles, vinegars, kombuchas or other Barrel + Brine products.

Its new address is 155 Chandler St., where seekers will find an alley that leads to a courtyard they should cross. On the other side, the Grote Street edge of the block-spanning complex, doors lead to the café, taproom and retail store.

The Marvins have fashioned a hybrid business in a new space that dwarfs their Carolina Street startup. The new walk-in cooler is bigger than the entire space they used to work in.

In most of it, production will continue. Sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, and the fermented tea called kombucha will be made in the back.

In front, a little nest has been carved out for a communal eating and drinking experience. All day, customers can find something to eat or drink whenever they come in, perhaps an egg sandwich or bagel with a schmear for breakfast, a bowl of soup or a sandwich for lunch, and sandwiches and seasonal specials for dinner.

[Related: Get to know the Chandlerville district]

Marvin previewed a couple of likely dishes. Matzo ball soup ($6) was resonant chicken broth made from chicken cured in koji mold, roasted, and braised. The broth held chunks of meat, carrots, celery, and a pair of firm, not leaden, dumplings of dilled crumbs held together with duck egg.

A corned beef sandwich ($14) was griddled on BreadHive dill pickle rye, which is made with Barrel + Brine dill pickle brine. The sandwich also packs dill sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and fermented mustard seeds, alongside a sour pickle.

There’ll be kombuchas and wild beers made on premises, among the alcoholic beverages, solo and in combinations like kombucha mimosas.

Barrel + Brine’s standard red and verde bloody mary mixes will be served up with vodka and other appropriate partners in bloody mary flights.

A cooler will hold a range of the same Barrel + Brine pickles and kombuchas available at Wegmans, Whole Foods, Farmers & Artisans, co-ops and other locations.

The café will offer a deeper roster of what the Marvins are up to. Delays and regulations restricting products meant for shelves in grocery stores limits some of their more creative and speculative ideas.

“So you can get really hyper-local ingredients that are preserved, we can get something at the peak of the freshness in the summer, and you can still be having strawberry kombucha in the winter that isn't on the shelves, maybe she just made 10 or 15 kegs of it,” said RJ Marvin.

With the ability to invest in smaller batches, the diversity available at the café will expand their repertoire. “Everyone knows ugly fruit tastes better, but no one wants to buy it,” Lindsey said, referring to the strawberries. “So we take it and we use it.”

Hours: 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 2 p.m.-10 p.m. Saturday. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday brunch. Closed Monday, Tuesday.

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