Editor’s Note: As of January 11, 2021, Davidson Brothers Restaurant & Brewery is temporarily closed for both dine-in and takeout. The restaurant plans to re-open when pandemic-related conditions permit.
Since 1996, brothers Rick and John Davidson have owned Davidson Brothers Brewing Company and Restaurant, a centerpiece of downtown Glens Falls.
Housed in a 150 year old building at 184 Glen Street, their neighborhood, and the Exchange Street plaza, has certainly come a long way since the brewpub opened its doors nearly 25 years ago.
“When we first opened, there was us, a karate gym, and the Bullpen,” said Kerry Davidson, wife of Rick, “We love that downtown has become such a destination.”
Spring Break, Summer Success
On June 19, Davidson Brothers restaurant opened its doors for the first time in the “new normal.” Due to COVID-19, the restaurant had been temporarily closed for more than three months.
“We made the decision not to open for takeout orders,” said Kerry. “We saw many of our restaurant friends offer takeout options and do well. We were happy to see that, but ultimately we wanted our staff to be able to stay home and feel safe.”
Kerry shared that while the restaurant could have opened at 50% capacity at an earlier date, it was paramount to Davidson’s that all was in place according to CDC guidelines. This included getting all equipment, protocols and cleaning products ready to ensure a safe experience for their staff and customers.
The restaurant’s spacious outdoor seating proved popular, as is typical in the summer. However, Kerry was surprised many customers opted to dine inside too. She frequently heard from customers crediting the restaurant’s cleanliness and social distancing, and many families returned week after week. Kerry shared she saw more travelers to the Glens Falls region than she anticipated too.
“With festivals being canceled, and the Wood Theater being closed, I’m glad Davidson’s could contribute to life in downtown,” said Kerry.
New Online Ordering, Family Meals and Guest Brews
With challenges, comes opportunities.
Online ordering is now available for takeout orders. Davidson’s chefs also updated their menu. Customer favorites remain, like fried pickle chips, ale-simmered chili, and a variety of sandwiches and burgers, but Davidson’s now offers to-go family-style meals.
New options include half and full pan meals like stout barbecue pulled chicken, served with roasted corn and red cabbage slaw, macaroni and cheese, salad and Hawaiian rolls. Another choice is Nona’s rigatoni with house-made meatballs and sliced sausage links in a marinara cream sauce. Families can also choose from a large children’s menu, and even several menu choices for dogs!
And don’t forget the beer!
Kerry shared that similar to toilet paper and pasta being hard to find on grocery store shelves, beer production has been impacted by the pandemic with ingredients in shorter supply.
“We normally have twelve of our own beers on tap, but right now we only have five,” said Kerry. “But we have added six guest brews from great breweries like Sierra Nevada, Fiddleheads, and Brooklyn Brewing. Our customers will still have a great selection to choose from, and all beers, including guest brews, are available to-go in growlers.”
Fall and Beyond
Another surprise for Davidson’s has been the continuation of travelers to the Glens Falls area after Labor Day.
“There are still families from downstate and around the northeast coming here,” said Kerry. “With some children going to school entirely or somewhat virtually, families have greater flexibility to travel.”
Even with the colder weather coming, Kerry shared Davidson’s has no intention of closing, but she recognizes that if indoor dining wanes, it is critical that community members support restaurants’ takeout options. She credited Glens Falls’ vibrant scene for helping all businesses downtown.
“We are in this together,” said Kerry. “At Davidson’s we are keeping a positive mindset that people will keep coming.”
Special thanks to Borgos & Del Signore for supporting this story.
Says Michael Borgos, Esq.: “When John and Rick Davidson took a chance on Downtown Glens Falls by launching their brewpub in October 1996 there were plenty of skeptics – even among their family and friends. In the late 1990’s, Downtown Glens Falls was really a ghost town with very little retail or restaurant activity and lots of empty storefronts. Through hard work and perseverance, Davidson Brothers enticed people with their craft beers and diverse menu offerings and became a landmark gathering place for the community. It’s always been my ‘go to’ destination before or after events at the Civic Center/Cool Insuring Arena and has been an excellent location to host small parties or business meetings on the private second floor. Kerry and Rick ensure there is a relaxed atmosphere that provides for enjoyable meals with friends, whether it’s sharing the terrific Buffalo Chips and fried pickles, or one of the chef’s daily specials as an entrée.
Davidson Brothers has quietly supported innumerable fundraisers and charity events through the years and has employed thousands while providing stability and longevity as a Downtown anchor. It’s time to return the favor and support them now in these difficult times. Grab a table on Exchange Street Plaza and enjoy the fall outdoor dining!”