Republica is a pint-sized gastropub with a patio, offering New American eats & craft brews in a vibrant atmosphere.
Republica, a Berkley neighborhood restaurant-bar in the Woodward corridor, is making the best of the state’s current pandemic ban on indoor dining.
The restaurant’s front patio facing Coolidge Highway, so enjoyed during the warm weather, was partially enclosed during Thanksgiving week. On the patio, heavy white panels with faux window inserts are hung up shower curtain-style.
When guests leave any of the seven multi-sized tables, staff in masks disinfect the patterned tabletops. For greater warmth, sit near one of the two propane-fueled heaters. Bright flames soar inside the pyramid tower-shaped cages. Combined with tiny red lights strung overhead, there’s enough visibility for a solo diner to read at night. That would be me, having my first dinner partially outside during December.
Republica is a family operation employing 13. Co-owners since 2015 are Petro and Alexis Drakopoulos, and her parents, Keith and Georgia Omand.
Besides the patio dining, “we provide full-service catering,” Georgia Omand said. “That’s kept us afloat. We’re trying to keep our staff employed. Unfortunately, this [latest] shutdown came at our busiest season.”
I’ve dined happily before at Republica. My favorite on the Small Plates list is Flower Roast, a whole roasted cauliflower served with an incredibly yummy walnut-garlic spread. As identified with other menu items, Flower Roast is “G” for gluten-free and “V” for vegetarian. More small plates are Plato’s Potatoes, “award-winning fries tossed with Feta, lemon and oregano,” and Turnip the Wings, five chicken wings topped with honey, lemon and rosemary, and served over braised turnip greens.
Republica offers Vegi Chili and Tomato Fennel soup in two sizes. Among four salads, I most liked the Beet & Arugula Salad. Other ingredients are blue cheese, pistachios, red quinoa and red onion.
The list of burgers and sandwiches is extensive, with gluten-free bread/buns for an extra $3. Choices include Sweet & Heat Fried Chicken, the Berkley Brisket and two types of lamb burgers. For Village Burger, the burger toppings are Feta, dill, green onion and Greek yogurt.
The six listed entrees are Ma’s Meatloaf, Pumpkin Mac, Paul’s BLT Pasta, Mitch’s Famous Ribs, Fish & Chips and my choice, Chicken Parm & Spaghetti Squash. The dish appealed to me because squash is a vegetable I rarely see on menus. I was less pleased with my pepita-crusted chicken, covered with a slab of melted and salty Mozzarella. I just wanted to try something new.
Six vegetable sides are $5, and the Kids Menu includes Grass-Fed Hamburger. Republica, offering curbside pickup, opens at 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday; 11:30 a.m. on other days.
1999 Coolidge Hwy.
Berkley, MI 48072
Phone: (248) 268-3175
**½ out of ****