City Lines Bar and Grill
1862 Auburn Road, Suite 113
Open Since: June 24
Owners: Lori Zalewski and Louis Tapia
Location: In The Veranda at Fort Daniel shopping center at the intersection of Auburn Road, Gravel Springs Road and Hog Mountain Road. It is in the corner spot with the clock tower at The Veranda.
Hours: 11 a.m. until midnight on Sundays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Atmosphere: City Lines has the look of an upscale dining restaurant, but its feel is a mix of a sports bar and a trendy gastropub — with some hints of a modern industrial look and a farm-like design cue or two that blend seamlessly together.
Its owners are trying to offer something that makes it friendly to diners of all ages.
“We’re trying to focus on the neighborhood and making a place where our community can kind of come together to hang out, eat, have a good time,” said Zalewski who called the atmosphere a family friendly “sports restaurant.”
Tapia said he and Zalewski initially tried to veer more toward a trendy gastropub when they opened, but adapted to feedback from the community.
“We kind of go with what the neighborhood wants and it seems like everybody kind of wants a sports bar,” Tapia said.
Zalewski said the restaurant is looking at finding ways to somehow incorporate references to the history of the nearby Fort Daniel historic site into the restaurant.
There is a private room with sliding barn doors that can be opened up to provide additional seating in the restaurant when there are no private events taking place in there.
City Lines also has a room where only customers over 21 are allowed in.
There are activities available in the restaurant to keep customers entertained.
It has 16 television sets spread around the restaurant, including some on the patio so diners can catch sporting events while they eat.
Games such as Jenga and connect four are also available in the bar area and the 21-over room.
The restaurant’s owners said they are also offering some weekly events including trivia on Wednesday nights and live music on the patio starting at 8 p.m. Saturdays.
City Lines also began serving Sunday brunch on Aug. 18.
Zalewski and Tapia said they are looking to make push for City Lines to become a destination for watching college football on Saturdays. They also want to be a destination for people in the area to hang out after high school football games on Fridays.
Menu: City Lines serves American-style bar food to fit in with its sports bar theme.
But that doesn’t mean the restaurant doesn’t have its own spin on some of the dishes.
One of the popular dishes is the scotch devil, which is a spin on the popular scotch egg found in pubs across England. While a traditional scotch egg has a soft-boiled egg wrapped and cooked in sausage, the scotch devil is a boiled egg with the yolk removed and replaced with pimento cheese — in the style of a deviled egg — and wrapped and cooked in sausage batter.
Another popular menu item is the slab bacon, which is five slices of bacon that are one-quarter inches thick and about three to four inches long.
“We do have some trendy stuff in there as well as your traditional burgers and steaks,” Zalewski said. “We order premium meats so we’re trying to (be) a little more elevated than just a sports bar.”
Another popular dish is the Dacula Cheese Steak, which is a local renaming of a Philly Cheese Steak. Customers can replace the flat iron steak with chicken or a Plantfare meat substitute, however.
Another sandwich on the menu is the B-B-L-T, which stands for bacon, bacon jam, lettuce and tomato.
Other popular dishes include the Steak Bites and various burgers. Some of the five types of burgers on the menu are the Mexicali Burger — with Chipotle corn salsa, bacon, mixed greens, avocado slices and havarti on the patty — and the City Line Burger, which has bacon jam, red onion, lettuce and tomato on a patty.
The burger patties are 50 percent chuck, 25 percent brisket and 25 percent rib meat, according to Tapia. Customers can get the meat patty replaced with an Impossible burger patty though.
Elsewhere on the menu, there are six types of artisan pizzas including a “Build Your Own” or “BYO” pizza.
The other artisan pizzas include the Kale on Fire, the The Pearl, a Margherita, a Classico and the Kylie-Q, which has barbecue sauce, Holy Smokes pulled pork, red onions, cheddar, mozzarella and arugula topped with a house garlic aioli.
And true to its sports bar atmosphere, City Lines does serve wings in five-, 10- and 15-piece options with four types of dry rubs and 11 wet sauce options.
There is a late night menu that goes into effect after 11 a.m. as well, although the kitchen closes at 1 a.m. It includes most of the sharable appetizers, such as the scotch devil and the slab bacon, as well as the wings, the artisan pizzas, fries, brussell sprouts and four desert options (drunken peach cobbler, creme brulee, s’mores and a vanilla ice cream scoop).
Something You May Not Know: The restaurant’s name refers to the fact that postal areas for Lawrenceville, Buford and Dacula converge near the restaurant.