In spite of all that, the sneak peek I attended exceeded my expectations. The former Watermark Restaurant was totally reinvented with a modern flair subtley influenced by its river front location. Sails hint at it's nautical history. The giant chains as you enter pay homage to the gritty Flats of the past.
But the exterior really steals the show. There is an expansive deck with a bar that provides stunning views of the river and bridges. For the ultimate exterior view, you can also dock your boat.
There's also an enclosed sunroom that will allow visitors to take advantage of the views even when the weather is blustery and cold. (But we don't even want to think about that yet!)
But a brewery or restaurant can't depend on the views alone. If it's going to succeed it has to be delicious too.
We were treated to an enormous sampling of the delicious California street food inspired menu.
And to wash it all down, we sipped on the delicious brews fresh from the brewery. They have fun names and great flavor.
Luke Purcell has a long history with the local favorite Great Lakes Brewery and the experience shows. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of creative brews he comes up with now that he is on his own.
My favorites were the Big Cat and East Bank IPAs and the Sixth City Alt amber ale. You can try a flight of four beers for $10 or $6 a pint. They also serve local guest beers on draft and small assortment of bottled beers including two that are gluten free.
Zack Bruell's son Julian created a delightful assortment of craft cocktails and there is an interesting wine list if you aren't in the mood for a brew.
And the wood fired pizzas (the salami & green olive and roasted cauliflower were especially delicious.)
The Oven Roasted Mixed Olives and Collision Bend Popcorn popped in chicken fat and seasoned with Mexican pepper mix, lime zest and pecorino are not your average bar snacks.
And here even more beer and food....thirsty and hungry yet?I know I am! I can't wait to go back and try the rest of the menu. I have my eye on the Welsh Rarebit, Ale Brined Chicken Breast with Smashed Carrots & Ale Beurre Blanc and the Roasted Eggplant Melt served on whole grain bread with shiitake mushroom, roasted peppers, hot pickled peppers, aged provolone gratine and fries.
You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Collision Bend Brewing Company
1250 Old River Road
*** Disclosure: I attended media night as my awesome friend's date. The evening was complimentary but all thoughts and opinions are my own. This place was too good not to share!**