UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — Two years after closing at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Boeufhaus is set to welcome back patrons to its Ukrainian Village dining room next week.
Known for its high-quality cuts of steaks and other meat, the restaurant at 1012 N. Western Ave. will reopen March 2. Reservations went live last week, and owner and chef Brian Ahern said March is already almost booked.
“It’s great. We knew this place was a beloved restaurant. … It’s getting to where we always knew it was going to be,” Ahern said. “We have a wonderful, loyal customer base.”
After stints at restaurants around the country, Ahern opened Boeufhaus in 2015 with his business partner, Jamie Finnegan. The pair wanted to give it an intimate “New York feel” with a lively atmosphere, Ahern said.
Menu items include escargot, short rib beignets and beef cuts, like ribeye and porterhouse steaks.
“You want to come in and just get a couple appetizers and a glass of wine, great. You want to come in here and go crazy and ball out on some wine and some aged meat or whatever, you can touch pretty much any price point here, which is what we wanted,” Ahern said.
Ahern said to-go orders weren’t feasible for the business when the pandemic shutdown started in March 2020. He said the restaurant did several pop-ups offering meal kits over the past two years.
“We would do Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, five, six times a year just to let the world know that we’re still alive and also to generate some some cash flow to just help pay a bill, help pay our salaries,” he said.
Ahern also said being independent business owners gave him and Finnegan flexibility to try different ways to stay solvent during the pandemic, something that may not have been possible as part of a larger restaurant group.
“That’s why you own a business for yourself, to be able to do what we want. we don’t answer to anyone, we don’t have any debt, we can do what we want,” Ahern said.
On top of its dining room, Boeufhaus also houses a deli counter offering charcuterie and cheeses, which Ahern said will be up and running again shortly.
Boeufhaus will be open for dinner Wednesday-Saturday, and for lunch on Friday and Saturday.
Ahern is also planning to open the restaurant at 3 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays to attract the work-from-home crowd.
“There’s really nowhere to go in this town between the hours of 3 and 5, unless you’re Downtown, and so we’re going to try and capitalize on that,” he said. “Maybe more people are working at home, by 3:30 they’re looking at the watch, ‘maybe I could go for a drink around the corner,’ so that’s what we’re going to try and do.”
Ahern said as his staff preps to reopen, he remains committed to the neighborhood and what he started before the pandemic sidelined Boeufhaus.
“This place isn’t going anywhere. And you know, we believe that it’s going to become an institution in this town because of who we are,” he said. “We take ourselves very seriously but not too serious, it’s a small little family and if a restaurant isn’t like that, the guests are going to feel it.”
Dinner reservations for Boeufhaus are now available on Tock. Lunch seatings are first-come, first-serve.
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