By Camden Krusec
Editor’s Note: The smokehouse has excellent assortment of meats and fresh side dishes like potato salad, slaw, and collard greens and Arcadia has put its own spin on these classic tastes. Nathan Colello Gilmore ‘12 designed the entire food counter and production line.
A year ago, Arcadia released the details on its new brewpub and restaurant “Arcadia West,” promising a sleek and exciting new setting for patrons to enjoy Arcadia’s classic, specialty, and seasonal beers. As expected, Arcadia delivers on this promise with more to come in the following months.
Located on Kalamazoo Avenue just east of downtown near Portage creek, Arcadia’s large facility includes large brewing vats, a smokehouse for their authentic barbecue menu curated by a K alum, and a high-ceilinged dining and bar area. The entire facility is 30,000 square feet—a testament to Arcadia’s presence in the Michigan brew community.
One major determinant of visiting Arcadia is if you enjoy their beers. I am no beer snob, so I was able to sit down with some good acquaintances and enjoy a glass of their classic Hopmouth—a malty and sweet blend with a hoppy aftertaste. I have tasted Arcadia’s other beers and found, while nothing special for me, they provide a solid selection and variety of tastes. I would be surprised if anyone made any negative blanket generalizations of Arcadia’s selection simply because there’s enough to satisfy the average craft beer fan.
There are some new features to Arcadia West that probably aren’t found at most other brewpubs: not only does its adjacency to the Kalamazoo River allow it to be accessible by foot, kayak, and bike, but it has given Arcadia the opportunity to consider more green ways of waste management. The interior is also green-centric, with recycled metals and woods utilized to create a sleek and new feeling. This “new” aesthetic is one reason alone to visit Arcadia—the fresh atmosphere of a new building and brewery is unique enough to keep you looking around for quite a while.
While I did not have the chance to try out any items from their menu (their smokehouse was not in operation at the time), their menu plans to bring an interesting blend of American barbecue while also featuring influences from the Middle East, Turkey, South America, and North Africa. This differs greatly from the typical cuisine offered by most Kalamazoo brewpubs, establishing Arcadia as an advantageously unique restaurant as well.
Arcadia West is off to a great start. As the summer progresses, outdoor seating will become more common with more features of accessibility to come (I mean, come on: you can get there by kayak). Even if you’re not an Arcadia fan, there is definitely something worth seeing on their side of the river.