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“Needs Competent Management” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Empire Brewing Company

Empire Brewing Company
120 Walton Street, Syracuse, NY 13202
+1 315-475-2337
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Ranked #26 of 609 Restaurants in Syracuse
Price range: $10 - $15
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Bar scene, Large groups, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Description: Empire Brewing Company is a contemporary downtown bar and grill with a brewery on the premises. Here, we aspire to provide customers with the best food and libation available by utilizing fresh locally sourced ingredients. Whether it is vegetables and herbs grown in our garden, hops grown by our brewer, locally raised grass-fed Angus beef, or original music performed by our friends, we give our patrons an experience that can only be had at Empire Brewing Company. The moderately priced and eclectic food menu is complemented by a diverse selection of hand-crafted ales and lagers. In addition to beer, Empire offers cocktails and a large selection of wine. The atmosphere is casual and festive. The brewing facility is housed in a glass-enclosed work area which provides a view of the massive copper and stainless steel brewing vessels. The food is prepared in a handsome open-performance kitchen allowing patrons visibility of the chef and his assistants. The interior decor highlights the industrial elements of the microbrewery, the drama of the performance kitchen, and the architectural nuances of the building. The understated design - featuring exposed brick walls, wood beams, and columns - pays homage to the brewing tradition and the pre-existing architecture. With clarity the aim and materials and ambient lighting the accent, a warm and inviting environment has been created for customers to enjoy the music, food, and beverages.
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Needs Competent Management”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013 via mobile

We stopped in for a drink on a Sunday afternoon. No events going on at Syracuse University so the place as well as the area was relatively quiet. There were two bartenders working the bar, a male and a female. We took a high-top table in the bar area. My wife waited at the table and I easily walked to the bar. I say this as we have visited this establishment in the past, when it was jammed. I waited at the bar and watched as customer after customer was served by the male bartender. I got his attention and said "when you have a moment I would like a couple of drinks." The bartender did not acknowledge this, just kept serving other people. After ten minutes of waiting for drinks and no end in sight we walked out.
Is there a manager in this place? Does s/he watch the activity at the bar? A few drinks is not a big deal, but I live locally and will most likely not return to this place.

Visited April 2013
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251 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
1 review
“Amazing!! Smell of good food and the sound of live music on a Sunday filling the air.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013 via mobile

We stopped in on our way home from Utica. Loved it from the moment we walked in the door! Good food. It's 148p in the afternoon and this place is where you need to be. Live music until 230p and the buzz of the crowd add to the atmosphere that is already filling with the smells of food cooking.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, New York
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
“Pretty good restaurant; pretty bad manager”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

This restaurant is typical for its type--lots of noise, lots of beer, and lots of burgers. We went there as a group, with reservations. Unfortunately--in this context--more people showed up than we had expected. OK--this put a strain on the restaurant. One of our members, trying to be improve matters, started to move an empty table towards our table in order to help out. This isn't a great thing to do without asking a staff member. However, the restaurant manager's response was far out of proportion to someone trying to move a table. He acted as if we had committed a felony, and he might have to call the police. Wow! Nothing like bringing 20 quiet, sober customers to a restaurant and being made to feel unwelcome. My suggestion: give the staff a good tip and a pat on the back, and give the manager a course in anger management.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Syracuse, New York
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
“Best Sunday Brunch EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

With Los Blancos playing a breakfast set that lulls you into embracing life, the goal of having the perfect Sunday was almost met! The comforts of lobster bisque and blue corn bread made me so happy/content/in-love-with-the-world/ mellow, we stayed for 3 hours and only left then to make another appointment. We also had the burrito (sheer perfection).....the only complaint is not much of one - more pico on the side, please. The staff is a bit stressed during the music - I think the need to get everyone eating while moving the music lovers out of their seats quickly might make them a bit cranky. There were no happy smiles or fun lovers on staff the day we went.....just overworked Sunday morning blues (but not in a good way) people. And it did distract me in an otherwise happy space. The musicians were particularly warm and the fans/customers were uniformly happy to be alive - so the contrast with the staff was noticeable. The other reason the 5th star is missing from my impression is the quality of the bar offerings. Empire does beer really well............mimosas, not so much. We'd love to see fresh OJ and less ice - and a more affordable option of proseco could make fresh squeezed an option, couldn't it? The brunch coffee was good and warmed the morning chill right out of us. All gratitude to Empire Brewing for putting on this amazing event week after week. WE LOVE YOU. Perfection is almost achieved with great food, good prices, a kids menu for the up and coming blues lovers and the best local music to be had! With the right manager to keep the grumpies away - a seating change (a breakfast buffet perhaps?) or SOMETHING to alleviate stress on the staff, this is one of our favorites in a city of favorites.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Ottawa, Canada
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere, beer and food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

I really enjoyed this place. I was there on a Friday night so the place was hopping. The beers I tried were good although none of them blew me away. However, the food was excellent! I had the chili with blue corn bread. The portion was really good, the food was served hot, the chili had a bunch of great flavours that I hadn't tasted in chili before - it was impressive! I can't wait to go back to this place.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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