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The Jug & Kilt offers taste of United Kingdom

Jun. 13, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

A traditional English pub, The Jug & Kilt is a new restaurant that serves a host of favorites from the United Kingdom including meat pies, Welsh rarebit, and of course fish and chips.

Owner Chris Shields and general manager Brian Harmon started work on The Jug & Kilt last year, but the restaurant didn't have its soft opening until May 31. A grand opening is planned for June 22.

Shields is a native of England and has lived in West Virginia for the past 13 years. He has always wanted to bring an authentic pub to the area. He acquired the location last October.

"I was kind of disappointed with local bars that were trying to be an English or Irish pub, they always seemed to be missing something," Shields said. "With my knowledge of authentic pubs back home, I wanted to bring one to West Virginia. I wanted to provide that authenticity with the traditional food, the beers, the atmosphere, and everything that goes with it.

"Everything was open and we did a lot of renovation. It took longer than we wanted to, but we had to get it just right. We came to the Barboursville area because it had the demographic we wanted. We wanted to avoid the midnight onward crowds you get in downtown Huntington. Here in Barboursville you have a lot more young professionals, middle aged people and families. We also have a lot of people of English and Scotch-Irish ancestry around here."

The pub's grand opening will offer plenty of fun.

"It's going to be an all day thing with a local radio station doing a remote broadcast from here, some bouncy castles set up," Shields said. "We want it to be an all day family affair. We aren't just a watering hole, we have a family atmosphere. We're completely original and not a franchise. We want to be a relaxing place to come, eat and have a few beers."

The bar area features 30 different beers on draft ranging from traditional American lagers like Yeungling, to craft beers like Goose Island, to imports like Guinness. The full service bar also features a variety of mixed drinks with a daily special.

"Hobgoblin has been a surprise hit for us," Shields said. "It's a beer out of England that I don't think anyone else has on tap."

The bar area also features four big screen televisions and they plan on broadcasting a mix of football, basketball and soccer games. There will also be a banquet room for private parties.

"We are sticking to authentic food throughout the United Kingdom," said Harmon, who is also the executive chef. "Fish and chips is of course a main staple on the menu. We have Welsh rarebit from Wales, and bangers and mash (sausage and mashed potatoes) for Ireland. The meat pies are traditional not just to England, but Australia and New Zealand as well. We also have a burger that I think is fantastic. We make everything in house here except for the sausage that we have imported from Ireland."

Other dishes include salmon and mash featuring grilled salmon, mashed potatoes, sautéed leaks and butter sauce as well as Guinness stew made with short ribs, potatoes, plus other vegetables served with grilled sourdough bread. Appetizers include Craiq chips, which are fries served with parmesan cheese and truffle oil.

The restaurant is currently operating with a starter menu, but it will soon be expanded to include more entrees, children's items, and desserts such as bread pudding.

"We are running into a little confusion due to the differences in the food names ("chips" are fries, while potato chips are called "crisps"), so we're going to have some explanations on the final menu," Shields said.

The Jug & Kilt is located at 5636 U.S. 60 East next to K-Mart between Huntington and Barboursville. It is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Sunday hours are from 1:00 p.m. to 11 p.m. For carry-out orders and more information, call 304-736-9858.

The Jug & Kilt

TYPE: English Pub and Grub

LOCATION: 5636 US 60 E, Huntington

PHONE: 304-730-9858

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday

FORMS OF PAYMENT: Cash and all major credit cards

WEBSITE: http://www. thejugandkilt.com/