Pub sports new look, expanded menu

Photo by Tony Kukulich

311 Oak St. Pub’s bar manager Niki Venoble, left, and owner Stephanie Nazzisi, are offering customers an expanded array of food options along with a revitalized menu at the popular downtown establishment.

311 Oak St. Pub has cooked up a new way to bring customers to its downtown Brentwood spot.

It started with removing a brick pizza oven owner Stephanie Nazzisi says was there before the building — which dates back to the early 1900s — in order to expand the kitchen and have a proper dinner menu.

“We had to take the whole (oven) out,” Nazzisi said. “That thing was solid brick. When we got it all out, there was no foundation. It was a big ordeal, but it came out awesome. Everything is brand new.”

311 served only drinks during the renovations, but its customers kept coming in — a testament to its regulars, Nazzisi and bar manager Niki Venoble said.

“Our customers waited it out,” Venoble said. “They were fantastic.”

After reopening with its new look after Thanksgiving, staff at 311 has seen a surge in new customers and support from regulars.

“We have all our regulars, for sure,” Venoble said. “They’re very excited the menu expanded and there’s more options. I’ve seen quite a few new people that just walk by, and they see the ‘Kitchen Now Open’ sign on the door, because we haven’t really advertised. They come in, and they come back.”

The new menu includes dinner options the pub didn’t have before, including customer favorites like chicken marsala and chicken piccata.

“Everybody’s very happy that we have French fries now,” Venoble said with a laugh. “The paninis — the Raging Bull is probably one of our most popular items, and it’s extremely delicious. We have three different types of sliders, and they’re probably ordered equally between all three, or people will order all three of them and just share. Our shrimp cocktail gets ordered a lot, and it is fresh to order.”

All of this is great news, but some accommodations are needed to meet the demands of increased customers. The pub will be selling its beloved shuffleboard. Nazzisi is sad to see it go, but the demand for seating is high.

“We’re going to have pub tables,” Nazzisi said. “You can rearrange them different, and they can be moved aside for at nighttime when it gets more crowded.”

Thankfully, she says, the pub’s pool table, darts and jukebox are there to stay.

As one of the only places open for the late-night bar crowd, the staff at 311 believes the spot has found its place in the downtown area.

“The downtown has so much to offer for everybody right now,” Nazzisi said. “Competition is healthy. Let them open up everything … I mean, we’re all different. There isn’t one place that’s exactly like the other one.”

311 Oak St. Pub is open every day from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. and serves food daily until 10:30 p.m. Children are allowed in as long as food is being served. For more information, visit www.311oakstreetpub.net or call 925-626-5547.

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