Let me save you the trouble. I know I am an idiot for adding food. I know I am a jerk for banning dogs from the pub. I know that it is a stupid business move to piss off our local bars and restaurants as well as our own customers and their dogs. If I haven’t covered all of your anger in those statements, then I’m sorry for not saving you the trouble but I would be more than happy for you to pile on additional anger, rage, sadness, regret, vitriol, irritation, judgment, or whatever strong emotion you want me to be an outlet for. I can handle it; I may cry a little, but I can handle it.
Let’s start with why. Why did we choose to add food? Why did we choose to oust our four legged friends from their comfortable positions aside our beloved patrons of the Iron Horse tasting room for mere gustatory satisfaction? Our vision at Iron Horse is to spread the knowledge that indie craft beer is in good taste, not an acquired taste, to everyone. It’s an ambitious goal, no doubt, but I’m comfortable with going to my deathbed having fallen short (see blog on failing). Good food supports this goal. Iron Horse beer is many things: social glue, tasty ale, accompaniment to good times, provider of jobs that people really love and mate to delicious food to name a few. When we add food, we get to be part of the perpetuation of the good beer and good food mating.
Iron Horse is also a business. In this business, we have 40 or so people that have decided this is a good place to make a living. I would guess about 10 to 15 have decided this is a good place to make a career. I owe it to them to make good business decisions and pursue opportunities to better our situation. I believe this to be one of those opportunities. Aside from “you know what you should name your next beer?” I would say “when are you going to add food?” is the most popular question I get. Every town has a brewpub. At some point Ellensburg will too, why not have it be Iron Horse? We work hard to give back to the community, the ownership lives here, we sell beer to bars and restaurants so we care that they are doing well. Do you think an investor group from out of town or out of state is going to give a shit about those things?
Also, the space we moved into already had a kitchen, which ironically had nothing to do with why we moved there.
Do I like your dog? There is a good chance I do, especially if it is really badly behaved. Do I or anyone else want your dog’s hair in our food? Unlikely. Even if I or they did, the health department doesn’t care, it’s not legal to have pets in a restaurant. Sorry.
I think I understand your concerns and frustrations. There are always casualties in change. I only ask you this; do you come to the Iron Horse pub because of the atmosphere, beer or the staff? If so, continue doing so. If those things don’t change for the worse, then keep coming. If the atmosphere no longer suits you, I would fully expect you to try out new places. If the new staff doesn’t make you happy, find people that do. If the beer no longer suits you, expand your horizons. If however, you are frustrated by the change because it is change, yell at me, and come on down to the pub to drink your favorite beers served by your favorite servers in our relaxed, social and community focused atmosphere.