Theatre Management Corp., the people behind the Esquire, Kenwood and Mariemont movie theaters, plans to give new meaning to the phrase “dinner and a movie.” Come November, they’ll launch a new theater
concept — Eastgate Brew & View — where patrons will be able to boozeit up and eat gourmet food while watching first-run Hollywood films. Located next door to Jungle Jim’s Eastgate, the theater’s dining menu plans to outdo current culinary-centric theater concessions, serving more than just the nachos, pizza, popcorn and occasional hummus or samosa you’ll find at national chains.
Gary Goldman, who runs Theatre Management Corp., says he got the idea for Eastgate Brew & View from seeing successful theater/gastropub dining experiences in other cities, like Austin, Texas (Alamo Drafthouse), Boca Raton, Fla. (iPic), Columbus (Studio 35) and Chicago (ShowPlace Icon). And after three years of planning, the right real estate opportunity presented itself when the Eastgate Danbarry Dollar Saver Cinema went of business in 2014. Goldman pounced on the chance to purchase the space.
The renovated theater will have eight auditoriums, an outdoor patio, 33,000 square feet of space and a large menu consisting of 35 items (not including the drinks), which will be served before, during and after the movies. “It’s good for couples that want a date night,” Goldman says. “They don’t have to get up and leave to get dinner after a movie, or if they’re thinking of having a dinner before a movie, it’s kind of one-stop shopping.”
Eastgate Brew & View will function similarly to places like the aforementioned Alamo Drafthouse: Patrons will sit in conjoined seats in the theater and order food 30 minutes prior to showtime; they can also order more food and beverages throughout the film, or dine in the lobby or outdoor patio.
Goldman says the menu will feature 30 local and national craft beers on
draft, along with wine, boozy milkshakes, craft cocktails and, of course,
Esquire’s famed popcorn made with real butter. The star attraction, however, isn’t the snacks. They hired Horseshoe Casino chef Quenten Brogden Sr. — “He’s just like magic,” Goldman says — to develop the wide-ranging menu, consisting of dishes including a seared meatloaf sandwich on Blue Oven bread, a “heart attack” hot dog (a kosher dog wrapped in bacon and deep fried), movie-themed hot wings, salads, wraps, chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, poutine and a kids’ menu.
Despite the gourmand offerings, Goldman doesn’t plan on price-gauging his customers; an average entrée will cost $10-$12. “Our goal is to make it affordable,” he says. “Our target audience is people who go to movies on a regular basis. We don’t want to make it like an event place where it’s very nice but very expensive.”
Right now, the plan is to screen strictly first-run films, but Goldman will see if there’s a demand for special screenings, like the Esquire’s occasional one-off showings of classic and cult films. The theater would also like to collaborate with neighbor Jungle Jim’s on wine and food tastings.
If all goes well, Eastgate Brew & View will have a soft opening on Nov. 6. “A lot of people have to fulfill their promises to make that happen, but we’re trying,” Goldman says. That weekend the new James Bond film, Spectre, opens, as does The Peanuts Movie. Goldman says maybe they’ll have a special drink for the first night: a martini, shaken, not stirred.
EASTGATE BREW & VIEW is located at 4450 Eastgate Blvd., Eastgate. More info: egbrewview.com.
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