The owners of The Boulevard Pub and Grill are not only bringing a taste of Wisconsin to the Sauk Valley, but Gramma’s potato salad, too.
When Heath and Beth Warner decided to add another item to the city’s menu of dining options, they headed north, not only for their restaurant’s theme but its location.
The Sterling couple knew they wanted to bring a restaurant to the north side of town, where they said there weren’t a lot of dining options. They also knew they wanted to look north for their menu.
“My family is from Wisconsin and I went up in the summers as a kid. I wanted to do something different that we didn’t have here and I wanted to do a Wisconsin supper theme,” Heath, 39, said.
The restaurant offers Wisconsin-themed foods, including cheese curds, a gargantuan pretzel, an authentic Philly cheese steak and homemade potato salad – courtesy of a recipe that comes from someone who’s sliced and diced a lot of taters in her time: Heath’s grandmother.
The Boulevard Pub and Grill had its soft opening on Aug. 11 at 2501 Ave. E, in the former home of the Cook’s Corner, a kitchen supply store that closed last year.
“Business has been unbelievable, it has been packed and better than we expected,” said Heath. The couple also owns the MVP Lounge at 3 E. Third St. in downtown Sterling.
Heath said he and Beth are really big on atmosphere at the pub, something they instill in their staff of 18. “Our servers and bartenders are super friendly and always greet customers with a smile. We offer a personal touch you don’t get a lot of places.”
Beth, 38, said the business also is very family oriented, all the way down to the couple’s kids, Nathaniel, 16, and Bailey, 13. “Our kids are a big help,” she said. The pub also offers The Big Al, a 23-ounce draft named after Heath’s uncle.
On the pub side, the bar offers a dozen drafts on tap. In addition to some perennial favorites – like Angry Badger Pale Ale from Bent River in Rock Island – they change out craft and seasonal beers monthly.
“We try to give customers good beer options.” Heath said.
On the grill side, the Warners are boosting business with specials, a children’s night, and delivery to local businesses.
They also plan to open a private gaming room for customers.
“The waitress will go to them, so they won’t have to leave the room,” Heath said. They hope to have the gaming room open by the end of this month and plan to offer complimentary donuts and coffee starting at 9 a.m.
The Warners said they enjoy meeting new people and interacting with the community.
“We are open late so after local sports games, families can come eat here as well as those who work second shift. We pride ourselves on keeping our staff here to serve the public,” Heath said.
“We are trying to accommodate most people by offering them something unique and giving them an experience that they can’t get somewhere else.”
THE BOULEVARD PUB AND GRILL
Address: 2501 Ave. E in Sterling
Phone: 815-905-2583 (BLVD)
11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday
11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday
10 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday
10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday
Online: Find The Boulevard Pub and Grill on Facebook.