Few things excite us Tri-Staters like the announcement and subsequent opening of a new restaurant. The latest being the soon-to-be-open BJ's Brewhouse in front of Eastland Mall. A few of my coworkers and I had the opportunity to get a sneak preview of the inside, along with a few of the food options they'll offer, during their soft opening / practice run earlier this week.

The soft opening was open to the general public, not just media, and we were able to get a reservation for the four of us after one of my coworkers found the link online through the Tri-State Restaurant Reviews Facebook page. The restaurant is essentially one big open space with a short dividing wall separating the general dining room from the bar. As you can see from the photo above, the wall is not tall enough to block the view of televisions hanging above the bar.

The opposite side of the dining area features large overhead garage doors that can be opened on more pleasant weather days (they were closed during our visit I assume due to the fact it was in the '90's).

(Townsquare Media)
(Townsquare Media)

The bar also features a large beer menu on the wall that can be seen and read from nearly anywhere. Beers are listed on removable wood planks so they can be removed during limited runs of certain brews, and the addition of others. The different categories of beer like ale, wheat, lagers, etc. are noted on the purple boards.

(Townsquare Media)

Now let's get to the food. Since this was a practice run, they offered a limited menu that included an item or two from each category (for lack of a better term), including salads, flatbreads, pasta, and sandwiches. I chose the Honey Crisp Chicken Salad, while one coworker went with the Prime Rib Sandwich, another chose Margherita Flatbread Pizza, and the other went with Shrimp Scampi Pasta.

(Townsquare Media)
(Townsquare Media)
(Townsquare Media)
(Townsquare Media)
Townsquare Media
(Townsquare Media)

To finish, we chose to split their signature dessert, the Pizookie. These are available in a variety of flavors with the option of choosing a large, shareable size in one flavor, or three smaller, individual sizes in your choice of three different flavors. Regardless of which size you go with, each Pizookie is topped with a scoop of ice cream. We went the trio route, choosing the Monkey Bread, Chocolate Chip, and Triple Chocolate versions.

(Townsquare Media)

BJ's will officially open to the public on Monday (August 26th, 2019), and, if previous restaurant openings are any indication, should see a steady stream of traffic come through its doors as everyone stops by to try it out.