Engine House reopens today

Published 9:49 am Wednesday, October 11, 2017

After three months of heavy renovations, the Engine House restaurant re-emerges today in the same space, but with a different menu.

At 2 p.m. Wednesday, Engine House Pizza Pub will open to the public with a new menu of craft and build-your-own pizzas, owner Steve Atkins said.

Atkins began operating Engine House Deli + Pub in 2015 in the 132-year-old building. Structural issues in the building forced its closure in July for major renovations.

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“We had large sections of the subfloor ripped up showing the original structural joists, some of which had issues due to age or water issues,” he said.

According to the restaurant’s Facebook page, most of the plumbing and subfloor were replaced, many of the joists were replaced, new black-and-white tiles were installed, and the restrooms and kitchen were completely gutted.

There was also a lot of work and redesigning behind the scenes to improve the efficiency and workflow for the staff, he said.

The pizza menu will be more workable and sustainable for the space within the building, he said.

With the previous deli menu, Atkins said he was spending up to four hours shopping daily just to keep it going, and storage became a serious issue.

“It was to the point I could not go any longer with the menu we had,” he said. “(Space) is still tight, but the menu’s not as expansive as it was.”

Atkins said there will be about 10 craft pizzas on the menu, and customers will have the option to create their own as well. There will also be three salads on the menu. Eventually, Atkins said he would like to add a couple sandwiches.

“There are a slew of toppings to build your own, or we have speciality pizzas that have generated a lot of interest online,” he said. “I think when people try them in earnest, they’ll be blown away.”

Some of those craft pizzas include:

—Commonwealth: pulled pork, bacon, country ham, onion, pimento cheese, BBQ drizzle

—Cool Runnings: mango-habanero-BBQ chicken, pineapple, onion, cilantro

— Buffalo, Not Bill’s: buffalo chicken, onion, bleu cheese, ranch and buffalo drizzle

— Hot Raven: chèvre, capers, kalamata olives, roasted garlic, tomato, mushrooms, fresh parsley

— Hotbrown: white sauce, ham, country ham, chicken, bacon, tomato, cheddar

— BMW: Reece Farm bratwurst, sauerkraut, onion, mushrooms

— Original No. 8: ham, pepperoni, salami

— Macho Libre: chorizo, chicken, cilantro, Reece Farm candied jalapeños, onion, tomato, cheddar

— Luca Brasi Sleeps with the Fishes: pepperoni, cappicola, Italian sausage, onion, kalamata olives, giardienara, tomato, pesto.

— Yardbird Blanc: white sauce, chicken, tomato, pesto.

The restaurant still has its full bar and added some domestic beers to its on-tap selection, he said.

The restaurant posted on its Facebook page Tuesday afternoon that it will not be able to accept debit or credit cards until Thursday because of an issue outside its control.

After more than three months of construction, Atkins is ready to get back to business.

“It’ll be good to get going for everyone involved,” he said.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@bluegrassnewsmedia.com or call 859-759-0051.

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