New Bronx Brew on Arthur Avenue

By JEFFREY COLTIN

Tessa Van Bergen/The Ram David Greco and Anthony Ramirez’s Bronx Beer Hall showcases their Italian-Bronx heritage in everything from the beer menu to the food dishes.
Tessa Van Bergen/The Ram David Greco and Anthony Ramirez’s Bronx Beer Hall showcases their Italian-Bronx heritage in everything from the beer menu to the food dishes.

According to the 2010 Census, the Bronx is the most diverse area in the country.  It is believed that there is an 89.7 percent chance that any two residents, chosen at random, would be of different race or ethnicity.

That statistic obviously comes to life any afternoon spent walking down the melting pot that is Fordham Road. Such diversity is even clear in Little Italy, a neighborhood named after a single ethnicity. Albanian and Dominican businesses line the streets.  Japanese, Mexican and French spots compliment the Italian restaurants. Now, Arthur Avenue is home to a Beer Hall that looks straight out of Munich.

But do not call The Bronx Beer Hall “German.”

“Absolutely not German!” co-owner David Greco said. “I’m Italian, can’t change anything about me.”

“It’s more of a Bronx vibe,” cuts in co-owner Anthony Ramirez.

Just one look at the Hall’s drink menu shows Ramirez is serious.  The top two beers are from the Jonas Bronck’s Beer Co., a brewery based in the Bronx that serves the locally named “Woodlawn Weiss” and “Pelham Bay IPA.”

The rest of the drink menu shows a commitment to the borough’s diversity with the French Bellerose Bière Blonde and wines from Portugal, Argentina and — of course — Italy. There are no major-label beers to be found.

The Bronx Beer Hall, located inside the Arthur Avenue Retail Market south of 186th St., is the brainchild of David Greco and brothers Anthony and Paul Ramirez.

They held a grand opening Feb. 1 with live music and specials on the drinks and food. Many know Greco as the owner of Mike’s Deli, which is also in the Market, where he dishes out Italian favorites like prosciutto, mozzarella and eggplant parmigina.

He says the food at the Beer Hall will be like that of Mike’s Deli, “but with a twist!”

“It’s my style; it’s something I would do,” Greco said. “There’s nowhere like this in the Bronx.”

That means the food is just as diverse as the drinks, with pretzels, sliders, tuna tartar, chicken wings and Italian sausages. The menu even features a Korean pork salad, calf brains and — to top it all off — “Greco’s One & Only Truffle Burger,” a $24 dish made with filet mingon and osso bucco.

It is not the usual bar food, especially around Fordham, but it will not be the usual bar scene either.

“We don’t want to be here till 3 o’clock in the morning,” Greco said. “This should be your first stop … I’d like to be your cocktail party.”

The hours reflect that, with the Bronx Beer Hall open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Sunday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. all other days.

Senior Matt Burns, FCRH ’13, says he’s very excited to get a microbrewer-style bar down the street.

“I think this is going to add something to the neighborhood — for students, hopefully, and hopefully for residents here too. It’s a good way to bring the community together, on-campus and off-campus.”

The Bronx Beer Hall is already marketing hard toward students.  It hosted a Senior Night pre-game last week, and the $2 half-pint special filled up the hall with students during Friday’s snowstorm.

Anthony Ramirez said he loved to see the historic market filled with students.

“Same place that’s been here for over 70 years, still vibrant, still a big part of the community and evolving with the community.”