Pub Amble: Brunch by Day, Pub by Night

One Wednesday after a house-gathering with friends, several guys said they were going to The Grange for live music and drinks.

“Wait,” I said. “The Grange? On Broadway?”


“You’re talking the vegetarian brunch place?”


“They’re open at night?”

And thus began my epiphany: The restaurants we go to on weekend mornings for Bloody Marys and organic pancakes are open at night. And they’re rocking legitimate cocktails, perfect for an evening of imbibing.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the mega-popular brunch scene in Providence, a simple Yelp! search will return these top-rated results: Nick’s on Broadway, Julians, and The Grange. Conveniently for my purposes, these are all located on one street, Broadway, and while I had visited all of them for brunch, I had not experienced any of their night scenes.

It was time.

The evening began with heavy rain, which is not conducive to crawling, meandering, strolling, or walking of any kind. And while we concurred that all the distances were walkable, we had a trusty Prius to pick up the slack since some people (*cough*Brad*cough*) wore flannel instead of rain gear.

We started with Nick’s on Broadway. As we contemplated seating options, we saw friends on their “date night.” Obviously, we chose to intrude on their romance by sitting at bar seats directly in front of them, allowing close enough proximity to turn around frequently and ask them questions.

The cocktail list was interesting, making it hard to choose. Mike the Bartender described the menu. He told us it progressed from lightest to heartiest, and with *cough*Brad*cough* nursing a hangover, it was up to the ladies to try the full spectrum. I went for the lightest item — a Lavender-honey and Lime drink with Edinburgh gin, because I’m intrigued by Scotland and by flowers — and we concurred the “manliest” drink was the B.B. Sazerac. But the heartiest on the list was The Smokey Owl: Mezcal, grapefruit, lime, agave, hellfire bitters and egg white. My friend Heather ordered it, and Mike the Bartender explained that he shook it without ice to create the perfect amount of frothiness. The result? Smokey, rugged and a touch of sweet. It was similar to drinking a Scottish whisky, but right before thinking, “This is how a campfire ought to taste,” there was a delicious, light finish.

We commandeered our date-night friends and went to Julians. The vibe inside Julians is fun and hip(ster), just like in the daytime, but darker and without a two-hour wait. We sat at a round table near the entrance. I had a hot drink — The Tiger Smile — and Heather had, yet again, the heartier-sounding beverage: The Buck Nasty. With Jim Beam, orange zest and ginger beer, it tasted like a cross between our two drinks at Nick’s. It was a good transition for her, and I was pleased with my choice because I could simultaneously warm both my hands and my insides with every sip.

We left to our final stop, The Grange, mellow on a Saturday night. There were clusters of people scattered about, but it was quiet enough for a relaxed evening and intimate conversation. The servers were friendly and very “anything goes,” and no one seemed to care that I was attempting a yoga Dancer’s Pose in front of the bar while someone snapped a photo.

This was the perfect place to end the night because the drink options are suited for every need: specialty cocktails for those still going strong; fresh juices and smoothies for those lacking nutrients; and teas and coffees for those who feel slumber calling. I was among the latter, but my friend ordered an Old Fashioned, which was “made correctly, with excellent whiskey.”

The fries we shared were gone in 60 seconds, and the Po’ Boy (vegetarian, of course) was the perfect nightcap for *cough*Brad*cough*.

We exited into the drizzle, knowing that in hours, the Sunday brunch crowd would arrive, changing the scene entirely.

Nick’s on Broadway: 500 Broadway

Julians: 318 Broadway

The Grange: 166 Broadway

My Resolutions for 2015:

To stop going for second helpings. (ONE IS ENOUGH)
To make at least one meal a week that involves an oven or stove (realistically, maybe biweekly, or monthly: how about learn to make a meal that involves an oven or stove)
To find ways to be more generous and helpful to others (volunteering at Crossroads, for example)
To honor the Sabbath by taking a day of rest more than once in a calendar year.

For a complete look at Motif’s neighborhood profile of the West End, click here.


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