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Inspiring Conversations with Eddie Forbis of The BrickHouse Bar & Grill

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eddie Forbis.

Hi Eddie, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I began working in the restaurant industry at the age of eighteen as a dishwasher at a local spot in Holly Springs called, My Way Tavern.

Around the same time, I started working here, I started Culinary School at “The Chef’s Academy.’ I dropped out after three months into it, school just never was my forte. Over the four years working at My Way Tavern, I went from the dishwasher, line cook, server, Front of House Manager, and Kitchen Manager. I was hungry to learn more about food and technique, so I applied to Ashley Christensen’s Death & Taxes.

I did a working interview and was offered a position as Garde Manager. I was a sponge while I worked here, just learning new and different things every day. Carson Jewell, Lauren Ivey, Andrea Cardella, and the other line cooks really took me under their wing and taught me a lot about technique and care when it comes to preparing food. I met Jake Wood through a mutual friend while I was working at Death & Taxes and helped him do some off-site events while he was at 18 Seaboard.

A few months later, he offered me a Sous Chef Position in his kitchen. I was excited to work under Jake Wood, he was young and hungry, and he really inspired me. Jake was offered a CDC position at Plates Kitchen on Glenwood South and wanted me to join him for his journey. I couldn’t turn down this type of opportunity, so I joined him as his Sous there. For the first week, we were there we completely remodeled the Front of the House and created a new menu for the kitchen. During the time working between 18 Seaboard and Plates Kitchen, I was only at 18 Seaboard for about six months before Jake was offered a CDC position at Plates Kitchen…. I learned a lot about running a kitchen, menu pricing, different styles of cooking from casual dining, southern food, and BBQ.

I was able to become more creative during this time as we were constantly putting out new menus and doing different types of events. Jake Wood eventually was able to start his business, Lawrence Barbecue and he wanted me to join him on his journey of opening a BBQ restaurant. This is where I learned a lot about starting a business, creating a brand, sticking to the brand, being consistent, and many other things. I mean we literally were trying to open a restaurant up during a pandemic. We catered, did boxed Lunch drop-offs, curbside pick-up, and traveled to food festivals to promote the business all during this time.

While I was helping start-up Lawrence Barbecue, I also was helping a local bar in Fuquay-Varina, called The Brick House Bar and Grill. My girlfriend has been there for ten years, and they were hit hard with the Pandemic. On my off days for the Barbecue Restaurant, I would help the bar with daily duties, creating menus, working the kitchen, etc. I found out in November of 2020 that I was going to be a dad and I couldn’t have been happier. I was about to open up one of the best Barbecue Restaurants in the area with one of my best friends, and also have a family. We were opening the restaurant up at Boxyard RTP.

As the opening day got closer, I realized how far away from home I would be from my son and girlfriend. I reached out to the owner of the local bar and told her about my dilemma. She offered me a full-time position as the GM of the bar. I took it and ran with it ever since. From creating a food menu that is all done in-house and making it profitable, working with my bartenders to create a seasonal cocktail menu, getting their creative ideas out in the town, getting rare bottles of bourbon and changing the whole vibe of the bar, in under a year.

Creating an environment where my employees are happy to come to work, and creating new and repeat customers. Being humble and being a sponge everywhere I worked helped me get to where I am today. “Humbled by the Hustle” is something I live by. Without the strong team that I have working with me every day at the bar, I would not be able to achieve what I’ve achieved so far working there.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Being in the restaurant industry, I learned that you have to ‘adapt and overcome. Going from tavern-style food to fine dining was a big struggle at the beginning of my career. I was a fish out of water when I first started.

Managing my employees and learning that everyone needs to be communicated to differently, while also Learning about opening a restaurant, the work and time it takes to do so was a struggle as well.

Managing my stress, and letting it not affect my job, my home, and others around me. The struggles I went through only made my mind sharper, at the end of the day.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about The BrickHouse Bar & Grill?
The BrickHouse Bar & Grill is one of the oldest bars in the area. We are located in a Historical Building in Downtown Varina. We give off that dive bar atmosphere, but with higher expectations.

We strive to be consistent every day with our scratch-made food, our seasonal cocktails, fun drinks, and our customer service. We specialize in people enjoying themselves, no matter what time of day or night it is. We are ‘The Melting Pot’ of Fuquay Varina, our clientele is broad. It is a place where you can come grab a beer or two while you eat a Smash Burger or our made-to-order chicken wings and watch some Sports.

It can also be a place where you come with your friends at nighttime to enjoy your evening out, especially on the weekends when we do DJ/Karaoke. My employees and I, are more like family than anything else. We look out for one another. We give off that ‘Cheers’ style bar.

What were you like growing up?
I was a goofy kid growing up. I always like to make people laugh and have fun.

When I was into sports, I was a big UNC Tarheels and Lakers fan. Long Live Kobe! I grew up in a military house where there were structures, rules, and inspections. With that instilled in me at a young age, it helped create standards and a strong work ethic. As soon as I was old enough to get a job, I started working.

Pricing:

  • SmashBurger and Fries $10
  • Fresh Mozz Sticks with house Marinara $8
  • Holy Cluck and Fries $12
  • Gringo Nachos $13
  • House Apple Fritters with Amaretto Caramel Sauce $8

Contact Info:

  • Instagram: @brickhouse_fuquay
  • Facebook: The BrickHouse Bar & Grill

Image Credits
Tennet Rich and JME Photography

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