Last week, the former Pullman Plaza Hotel reopened as the newest addition to the DoubleTree by Hilton chain, but a new name and refurbished rooms aren't the only things awaiting guests. The DoubleTree is now home to three restaurants - Bootleggers, an American pub, and Doppio Albero, an Italian restaurant, have joined Baker Joe's Coffee Shop (which opened in 2015).
The pub area has undergone a series of different names over the years. It was originally a Damon's Grill franchise before becoming home to Bobby Pruett's Steakhouse in 1999. In 2014 the steakhouse closed and was rebranded as Pullman Pub & Tapas Grill before finally having the name shorted to Pullman Pub. The new pub called Bootleggers opened Monday, May 13, a week before DoubleTree officially reopened. It does contain a nod to its history in the form of a Marshall University trophy that was left behind from its days as Bobby Pruett's Steakhouse.
"Everything is completely brand new. It's been close to a year that the restaurant has been under renovation. The drop ceilings are gone. We put in new drywall and brand new floors. We built up the floors to make the dining area handicap accessible. All of the walls were replaced, and we put in new TVs. We also put in a wall. It's completely renovated," said Kayla Bowen, a food and beverage manager at the DoubleTree by Hilton. "The kitchen was also completely remodeled. It has a new floor, and it is restaffed."
The new pub menu plays off the Bootleggers theme with names like The Capone Wedge salad and The "Nucky" Burger, named for Prohibition gangster Enoch "Nucky" Johnson who inspired the HBO series "Boardwalk Empire" with its lead character Nucky Thompson. West Virginia's history is also paid homage with The Real McCoy chicken sandwich. There's also an assortment of apps including wings, potato skins and Carolina Fries topped with pimento cheese, pulled pork, Carolina Gold BBQ sauce and coleslaw.
"We have expanded the selection at the bar. We now have craft beers including some West Virginia beers (such as) Coal Miner's Porter and Swilled Dog Hard Cider. We currently only have canned and bottled beer; we're planning on adding a draft system later this year. We also have a selection of different bourbons," Bowen said. "We are also working on a signature drink called Cookies & Milk. At the DoubleTree, we give you a cookie when you check in because it's about the warmth. We also have a Bourbon Caramel Popcorn.
"Because we have an Italian restaurant next door, we wanted to keep it very simple. We wanted it to be focused on American food to be quick and easy. Buffalo dip was an item on the Pullman Pub menu that was very popular, so it was the only item from the old menu we kept," Bowen said. "We have a very simple but very good menu."
Bootleggers is located at The DoubleTree by Hilton at 1001 3rd Ave. It is open from 5 p.m. until midnight Monday through Saturday and from 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. Sunday. Cash and all credit and debit cards are accepted. Reach them at 304-525-1001.