When Grady Harreld, Mike Courtney, and Joel White purchased Briarpatch Restaurant last August, they knew it was an iconic location to dine in the community. The trio recently announced plans to reopen the former Michael’s Pub portion of the restaurant, also completing renovations including new carpet, an expanded waiting area, and an outdoor patio.
“We bought the Briarpatch August of last year,” Harreld said. “The former owner did not utilize the pub. We decided that we bought the real estate— we need to take advantage of the pub, too.”
With the restaurant celebrating 50 years in business in 2022, there are plans to remodel and expand what they have to offer.
“We are knocking out a wall and remodeling the waiting area. We are going to redo the dining area and are also adding new flooring, new wall coverings, and updated lighting throughout,” Harreld said .
Reopening the pub at Briarpatch is exciting for the owners, who acknowledged the need for more space in the establishment.
“The pub will be a little bit larger and much more attractive — you can walk out of the bar to the patio easily. Customers can venture out to the pub or patio and get a drink while they are waiting,” Harreld said.
Looking ahead, Harreld said if Briarpatch continues to grow, they are going to need more parking.
“We are going to try to buy property next door and have more parking where customers can come right in the bar,” he said.
An unexpected change under new ownership was upgrading the quality of steak sold to their customers.
“A big positive when we first decided to buy this business was that our vendors came to us and told us they had a whole new line of steaks, from a new supplier. Those steaks have been a major factor in the rebound of Briarpatch — they are much better quality steaks,” Harreld said. “We upgraded our ribeyes, our filets, the whole deal. We have had hundreds of positive comments about our streak.”
Briarpatch has been operating since 1972, so many customers have been visiting the restaurant for decades.
“A lot of them tell me that this is where they came on their first date or where their spouse asked them to marry them over dinner at Briarpatch,” Grady said. “We want to create a special atmosphere at this special restaurant.”