Elijah P’s Burgers & Brews is about ready to open and it will combine a tribute to one of Alton’s most historical figures, Elijah P. Lovejoy, with a wide assortment of drinks and food in downtown Alton.
Elijah P’s will be located at 401 Piasa St. in Alton and will open in few weeks. Russ Smith, Elijah P's owner, spent the past year revitalizing what once was a vacant 8,000-square-foot building and has brought it back to life. The new bar/restaurant will feature a multitude of tap beers.
Smith said he definitely wants his restaurant/bar to serve as a talking point about Lovejoy, the abolitionist newspaper publisher of the Alton Observer. Lovejoy was shot and killed in downtown Alton on Nov. 7, 1837, just a few steps from the new location.
“We are very lucky to have had Elijah P. Lovejoy, who lived here and left a great legacy of the press and his stance on slavery,” Smith said. “It is a great draw for Alton as a destination to see his grave and read about the history. I wanted to be part of that.”
Smith said the new Alton location will feature 60 beers on tap.
“Our hook is definitely being a multi-tap beer bar,” he said. “This will be the largest multi-tap beer bar in the Metro East. Our food will be an upscale burger bar with our own twist on pub style food.”
Elijah P’s will also feature an extensive whiskey list, Smith said.
“Whiskey is a great trend in bars and restaurants right now,” Smith said. “It is coming back and people are interested in that segment. There will be some televisions in the new bar and restaurant. It will be nice and open when people walk in. The inside has been completely redone. We have parking here, and there will be an outside dining patio.”
Smith said the beer list will feature a wide style and variety. There will be seasonal beers that rotate different times of the year and during summer we will have lighter, fresher beers. In the winter, we will have heavier and darker beers. We will have all the local beers.”
Elijah P’s will offer live entertainment, Smith said.
“The whole theme will be Alton related,” Smith said. “The name is about a historical figure and when people look at this place and its design they will see several different photos and things local and feel the flavor of Alton.”
Riverbender.com will announce the exact date of Elijah P’s opening and its video team will show people the inside of the new facility before the opening.