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Charlotte Brewing Company

May 24, 2023

  • 214 S. Cochran Avenue
  • Charlotte, MI 48813
  • (517) 543-8882
  • Website
  • Menu

I’ve mentioned before, my kids are in to musical theater. J and I always have been and we’ve gotten both kids in to it as well.

We started L with seeing Hamilton a few years ago at DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids. We got B in to it by seeing Six at DeVos as well. Six is more of a concert than traditional musical theater though…but we did take him to see Beetlejuice The Musical at the Detroit Opera House.

There are a number of musical’s L wants to see and we’re starting to line them up between East Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo. The next available one was Wicked at the Wharton Center in East Lansing.

J and I saw Wicked on one of our first dates close to 16 years ago in Chicago. I only vaguely remember what happened so I thought it’d be good to see it again. The kids got their first taste of The Wizard of Oz last summer at the Kindleberger Arts Festival in Parchment so it was time to see the “real” story of the witches.

It was going to be a long day. We needed to go on this particular Saturday night due to schedules and the only way to get decently priced tickets was to go to the 8:00 PM show. J and I both had to get up well before dawn to work at different races.

I got home from Grand Rapids around noon. I had some things I really needed to do so I didn’t take a nap. I was getting hungry and knew trying to go out to eat on a Saturday night in East Lansing at dinner time probably wasn’t going to work to well.

The last few times I’ve driven home from Lansing I’ve seen a billboard on I-69 for a brewery in Charlotte. I like breweries and the menu looked good. I asked J if she wanted to grab something eat before going to the show.

We stopped at Charlotte Brewing Company in downtown Charlotte. At least I think that’s the name of the restaurant. The billboard, the website, and the menu all say Charlotte Brewing Company but the restaurant still says Eaton Pub & Grille…and Google lists it as Eaton Pub & Grille and Charlottte Brewing Company. Their Facebook page just calls it Eaton Pub & Grille but the branding is all Charlotte Brewing Company…and there’s no story anywhere about why that is. My assumption is Charlotte Brewing operates of of a restaurant called Eaton Pub & Grille (which has been there for a long time) and just kind of took over. Anyway, the restaurant, whatever you want to call it, is on Cochran Avenue just south of Lovette Avenue. The restaurant takes up the bottom floors of two probably turn of the century two story brick buildings on the busy Cochran Avenue that serves as the small town’s main street. The buildings are tied together with an entry way that was clearly added long after the buildings were built.

The restaurant has two spaces (the two separate buildings) when you walk in. The hostess took us to a table in the bar area immediately to your right when you walk in. The restaurant has a real small town hangout bar to it. Wood floors, drop ceilings with with fans, and a large bar that kind of has the feeling of one you’d find in your friends basement in the 70’s. It’s a really homey feeling and reminds me at a lot of the bars I grew up in when my parents went out to have a drink with their friends back in my small East-Central Illinois farming town.

There was even a moose head right above our table.

And pool tables in the back of the space. You have no idea how many nights I spent drinking Budweisers and shooting pool at bars like this in my 20’s.

The waitress came over and didn’t bring a drink menu of any kind nor could we find one in the menu. The house beer menu was written on a chalkboard right next to our table. J’s not much of a hoppy beer drinker and there was anything that stood out to her on the menu as something she would like.

She asked if they had any ciders and the waitress kind of struggled through that question. They had some bottled macro ciders, which is fine, but it took her a while to remember what they had. J finally just said, “yeah, that one” when she mentioned Strongbow.

I was hoping to try a couple of beers throughout dinner. I started with Fore Fathers which is their New England Hazy IPA. The beer was tasty and I had it finished by the time our food came so I ordered another.

The second beer I chose was Dog Star Smash IPA. I don’t really know what a Smash IPA is. That’s a new one to me. I did enjoy though and it made dinner go down really smooth.

The food menu actually looked really good which is how I was able to sell J on the place. Kind of a good thing since they didn’t really have anything unique for the non-beer drinker.

I picked Hangover Burger. This sandwich is USDA choice beef topped with a fried egg, bacon, cheddar cheese, and chipotle mayo. The sandwich was really good. The meat was crumbly but still juicy and delicious. The fried egg was slightly soft so it made a little big of a mess, but it mixed with the chipotle mayo to make a spicy sauce. The sandwich came with skin on fries which are the perfect compliment to a burger like this.

J did the Pub Grilled Cheese. Her sandwich is what a grilled cheese should be. The toasty Texas Toast had Swiss, provolone, American and cheddar cheese as well as crispy applewood smoked bacon. This was a hearty grilled cheese and the bacon always makes grilled cheese another level. Her sandwich also came with the skin on fries.

L pulled a wild card here and ordered herself the Taco Salad. She had done this once before with J and some skating friends but it’s not something she had done since. The Taco Salad comes with shredded lettuce, ground beef, cheddar cheese, and crushed tortilla strips. It’s also supposed to have tomatoes, onions, and black olives but she left all of those off. The suggested dressing is French but L doesn’t even know what that is so she asked for ranch. She ate almost all of the salad. I guess she likes taco salads.

B was being B. He didn’t want to eat…but as soon as we get in the car, he would have asked for candy…so we made him order a kid’s chicken strips. He ate the first strip then kind of shocked himself and he decided he was going to be his normal restaurant self and throw a fit about eating the second strip. We got him apple sauce as his side because he doesn’t really like fries. He ate about half of the serving on his plate.

Our bill for dinner was a little over $60 before tip…and that includes three drinks!

Charlotte Brewing Company…or Eaton Pub & Grille….or Eaton Pub & Grille and Charlotte Brewing Company has a branding issue but they have delicious food and tasty beers. This place isn’t your typical sleek, modern brew pub. It’s a great small town watering hole that just has a different feel to it than what you typically associate with a brewery. It’s very homey and and to a small town boy like me, has a very comforting feel to it.

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