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Barrett's Alehouse, a Special Destination Restaurant in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Dining area at Barrett's Alehouse, West Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Barrett's Alehouse in West Bridgewater. Photo source: Barrett's Alehouse.

Article by Eric Hurwitz. Article updated on 10/28/2017

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Upon first sight, Barrett's Alehouse in West Bridgewater, Mass., appears to be the ideal place for wings, a burger, beer and watching the game on one of the many televisions within comfortable, upbeat surroundings.

That first impression stands correct as Barrett's comes through with all these offerings, and does a mighty fine job doing so.  But to end the conversation there would make about as much sense as, say, that Chevy Chase movie scene in Vacation when he admired the Grand Canyon in Colorado for about five seconds before quickly moving on. 

Like any special destination, Barrett's Alehouse deserves an extended stay and repeated visits to appreciate its significant appeal as the 23,000 sq. ft. facility comes across like a box set collection of greatest restaurant attributes. Barrett's not only features a restaurant and three bars, but also an arcade, as well as
four beautiful private function areas that accommodate both small and large parties including baptisms, birthdays, confirmations, corporate events, holiday parties, anniversaries, graduations, baby showers, weddings and receptions. The family-friendly arcade -- one of the best in eastern Massachusetts -- is exceptionally clean, bright and features more than 50 arcade games from retro games like skee-ball and air hockey to modern selections.

Game room and bar at Barrett's Alehouse, Wets Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
Game room and bar area at Barrett's Alehouse.
Photo source: Barrett's Alehouse.

Game room at Barrett's Alehouse in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
Air hockey at Barrett's Alehouse game room.
Photo source: Barrett's Alehouse.

Painstakingly renovated after the Charlie Horse restaurant closed in 2016, the lively dining and bar areas feature a crisp, attractive, open space look with high top tables, booths, sofas by a cozy fireplace, a seasonal patio area and sports pictures on the wall. The high ceilings and 530 seats make this large restaurant seem even bigger, but it never overwhelms or dilutes the warm, relaxing comfortable dining experience.

Fireplace area with sofas at Barrett's Alehouse in West Bridgewater, Mass.
Fireplace and sofa chairs at Barrett's Alehouse. Photo source: Barrett's Alehouse.

The attention to detail in this spectacular restaurant seems to virtually saturate every inch of space -- including the 33 tower draft beer system where medallions light up instead of using tap handles. About 90 percent of the beers are from Massachusetts.

Modern bar at Barrett's Alehouse in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
Modern beer system at Barrett's Alehouse.
Photo source: Barrett's Alehouse.

The staff is kind and attentive, and owner Mike Barrett has remained humble throughout all his success. With 50 years of restaurant experience, the managing partner Dave Barry is a dedicated restaurant industry pro who left the Boston nightlife scene as a firm believer in Barrett's Alehouse and its concept of pleasing all walks of life. With additional locations in Bridgewater, Fall River, and North Attleboro, as well as the Fireside Grille in Middleboro and Castaways at Olde Scotland Links in Bridgewater, it is the West Bridgewater location that has quickly become the "home base," and a completely different experience than the Charlie Horse, according to Barry.

Bar, dining areas at Barrett's, West Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
Main bar at Barrett's Alehouse.
Photo source: Barrett's Alehouse.

"The only thing similar to The Charlie Horse is we have four walls that stand up the restaurant," said Barry. "We are a big restaurant, but we take on the passion of a small restaurant. Seventy five to 80 percent of our food is from scratch."

Barrett's certainly meets the proverbial checklist of what it takes to be a great lunch and dinner time restaurant -- and then some -- but the most critical accomplishment comes down to the food. What could have become another oversized, chain-like restaurant with mediocre offerings and those unbearable ads where food gets tumbled and splashed in slow motion, Barrett's, fortunately, took a much different, thoughtful food route. For starters -- and this is sgnificant -- Barrett's has an experienced executive chef in Brian Bulzachelli who is dedicated to putting tasty twists on familiar foods, as well as showcasing seasonal specialties. Brian grew up on Long Island, N.Y., in a close-knit family and his first kitchen was a 100 percent scratch Italian kitchen creating fresh pastas, butchered meats, and fresh fish daily. This specific discipline stayed with Brian his whole career including an education at The School Of Culinary Arts in Lancaster, Penn. After graduating with honors, Bulzachelli went on to work at several renowned restaurants in southern New England. He has served an  executive chef at Siena at Federal Hill in Providence, R.I., Skipjacks in Foxborough, Mass., McCormick and Schmick's at Faneuil Hall Boston and Providence, and most recently as the culinary director for the Wellesley Restaurant Group in Boston.

A shining example of a classic comfort foods variation is the burger: a 10 oz. chuck/short rib blend that goes far beyond the basic burger taste. Substantial, mouthwatering and ultimately addictive, the burger also tastes great accompanied with a Caesar salad.

Chuck/short rib blended burger with a Caesar salad at Barrett's Alehouse in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
Burger with a short rib/chuck blend and Caesar salad in the background. Photo: Eric Hurwitz.

Menus abound -- a food menu, cocktail and wine menu, beer menu, lounge menu, patio cocktail menu and patio beer and wine menu -- so there's definitely something for everyone. Steak tips, nachos, chili, pizza, fish and chips, chicken pot pie and chicken broccoli share menu space with selections like the Buddha Bowls: Spicy Shrimp, Korean BBQ Steak and Chicken Noodle Stir Fry. The "Back Alley Tacos" range from the familiar (fish, buffalo chicken) to creative variations like the blackened tuna with yellow fin tuna, white rice, pineapple pico de gallo and ginger soy sauce. For a hearty, slightly different kind of salad, the lemon herb Mediterranean Salad is a good choice with romaine, mesclun mix, lemon herb chicken, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, onion, Kalamata olives, feta cheese and lemon vinaigrette dressing.

Barrett's in West Bridgewater also offers entertainment, including acoustic sessions on Sundays from 4-7 p.m. and country music with DJ Mike Janedy on Thursday nights starting at 9 p.m. Barrett's also has prioritized community involvement, most recently on Oct. 18th, when Barrett's chefs went head to head in a local Battle of the Burgers competition -- the winning burger was created by Chef Chris Benoit from Barrett's Alehouse in North Attleboro. The winning UpBeat Burger is a cross between a steak and cheese sandwich and an all-American burger, and is now available at all Barrett’s locations until December 13th. A portion of all proceeds will benefit the Joe Andruzzi Foundation, a non-profit organization aiding New England-based cancer patients.

"We are a huge supporter of the local community," said Barry. "The schools, town hall, football, baseball teams. That is a big priority for us."

Barrett's ultimately offers food quality way beyond its restaurant genre and with good value for the money. They also have, and can make any menu item gluten-free. Additionally, they offer a "Kids Eat Free" all-day promotion with the order of an adult meal at $14, or more.

"We are also are a family-friendly restaurant, and you see lots of families coming here for the food, the game room, just for a family night out," said Barry. "We cater to everyone."

It is nothing short of amazing that Barrett's Alehouse has become a dining staple in West Bridgewater in virtually no time flat. Those outside the metro Brockton area, however, should consider stopping by this dining out gem as it is conveniently located just off Route 24, making it an ideal stop for those traveling to and from New England vacation destinations like Cape Cod and Newport, R.I. Additionally, Boston residents should also give Barrett's strong consideration being only 30 miles away, and with free parking!  This writer lives 40 minutes from Barrett's and would not hesitate to make it a "go-to" restaurant. It's that good.

"I have been in the business over 20 years and worked in the Boston restaurant nightlife scene," said Barry. "I am so happy to be here. Mike Barrett has been in the business for over 50 years. He is the face of the operation and is extremely talented. It is a great place to work and people are really loving the West Bridgewater restaurant for so many reasons."

Barrett's Alehouse is located at 674 West Center Street. West Bridgewater, MA. Tel. 508-510-4204. Web site: www.barrettsalehouse/westbridgewater. Facebook fan page:

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Interested in your local business becoming part of our New England community? VisitingNewEngland business partnerships differ than feature articles previously posted on VisitingNewEngland. Businesses pay a small, one-time fee to have pages like this appear, and first must be accepted by editor and publisher, Eric Hurwitz, as a business he approves as part of "real New England travel" to keep the integrity of the site. Businesses that sign up for business partnerships receive priority by receiving more social media exposure and link placement on Contact Eric if interested in forming a business partnership.

Explore Massachusetts travel! Read the Massachusetts Town Greens book -- Discover New England's first travel attractions: town commons. Includes a chapter on nearby East Bridgewater!

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