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Heritage Public House Brewery and Gastropub

Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa is a brewery and gastropub with spot-on pub flavors from Chef Josh Silvers

Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: BBQ Brisket Sandwich. Photo Heather Irwin
Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: BBQ Brisket Sandwich. Photo Heather Irwin

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Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: BBQ Brisket Sandwich. Photo Heather Irwin
Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: BBQ Brisket Sandwich. Photo Heather Irwin

Long story short: Heritage Public House Brewery and Gastropub has great pub grub—now.

But the story behind the story?  It wasn’t always that way.

In April veteran chef Josh Silvers took over the kitchen of the Santa Rosa bro-pub which had great beer, but somewhat lackluster dining. With 24 taps and their own recently-launched brewery, Bloodline Brewing, food wasn’t really the point.

That’s changed.

Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Burrata Panzanella Photo Heather Irwin
Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Burrata Panzanella Photo Heather Irwin

Despite some early fumbles taking over the 3-year-old pub’s management, kitchen and interior, Silvers has found his groove. With newly-trained staff, in addition to a focus on the up-and-coming Bloodline beers made onsite, Heritage Public House (1901 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, heritagepublichousesr.com) is worth a second look. Here’s why…

Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Smoked Chicken with sweet potatoes and greens. Photo Heather Irwin
Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Smoked Chicken with sweet potatoes and greens. Photo Heather Irwin

Smoked Rocky chicken with bacon braised greens and maple sweet potato smash ($17.95): Silvers isn’t a subtle when it comes to big flavors. While you may think “fall” for this dish, the smoked chicken is juicy and smoky and perched atop a pile of ‘taters that should come with a warning: Butter overload. They’re nutso good, any time of the year.

Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Fried pig ears. Photo Heather Irwin
Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Fried pig ears. Photo Heather Irwin

Pig Ears, For Real ($9): Pig ears done wrong aren’t fun. But done right? Heaven. “It’s just a carrier for salt and fat,” Silvers said of the thinly cut strips of toothsome pig ear that come with lime aioli for dipping. Crispy, and perfect with a hoppy beer.

Burrata & Panzanella with heirloom tomatoes ($12.95): Summer perfection on a plate means a creamy ball of fresh mozzarella, crunchy bread and ripe summer tomatoes fresh off the vine.

Brisket Sandwich Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Photo Heather Irwin
Brisket Sandwich Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Photo Heather Irwin

Open faced slow smoked brisket with crispy onion straws on Texas Toast ($14.95): We were heartbroken on an earlier visit when this screaming marquee of awesomeness failed to live up to the hype. This triple-threat sandwich is finally ready for its close-up, with melty sweet brisket, crispy onion straws piled on top, and thick, buttery Texas Toast as the base. Potato and cole slaw are picnic perfect.

Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Bone Marrow Photo Heather Irwin
Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Bone Marrow Photo Heather Irwin

Bone Marrow ($12.95): A newcomer to the menu under the “Odd Things” category, beef bones are roasted, split, and served with slices of toast and salt. An acquired taste, perhaps, but when you know, you know.

Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Malt Ice Cream. Photo Heather Irwin
Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Malt Ice Cream. Photo Heather Irwin

Malt ice cream with peanuts and caramel ($7): Sweet malt (part of the brewing process) mixed with ice cream, caramel and peanuts. Think sundae with a beery twist.

Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Puffed Rice Mac and Cheese. Photo Heather Irwin
Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Puffed Rice Mac and Cheese. Photo Heather Irwin

“Puffed Rice” Mac and Cheese ($7.95): Another initial miss, now a hit. Buttery Rice Krispies are given a quick toast atop Josh’s killer mac and cheese. The man knows mac and cheese, and everybody know it.

Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Salmon with corn relish and mashed potaotes Photo Heather Irwin
Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Salmon with corn relish and mashed potaotes Photo Heather Irwin

Pork belly with lentils ($13.95): Pork is Josh’s oeuvre, transcending trends. So when he does pork belly, he does pork belly. Paired with black lentils you can almost believe you’re eating healthy.

Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Brewer's Fries Photo Heather Irwin
Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Brewer’s Fries Photo Heather Irwin

Brewer’s Yeast Fries ($7): No. Frozen. Fries. Ever. You won’t find bags or boxes of frozen fries in any of Josh’s kitchens. He’s a bit of a nut about fresh Kennebec fries. That can mean some fluctuation in quality, by its very nature, but ours were crisp enough to stand up to the bowl of aioli we pretty much decimated.

Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Nectarine shortcake Photo Heather Irwin
Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Nectarine shortcake Photo Heather Irwin

The beer: Nice-price sippers like the California Livin’ Kolsch ($5), Beach weather saison (15oz $4) and Hay-Fuh Hefeweizen ($6) are perfect for the patio.

A mea culpa (priceless): It’s a rare chef who will admit a stumble, big or small. But ultimately it’s his neck on the line, and Josh doesn’t mince words when it comes to the close shave he got in taking over an existing kitchen and staff. Now, the bugs are worked out, and the food is worth another look. I’ll put my neck out on that one.

Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Shishito Peppers Photo Heather Irwin
Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa: Shishito Peppers Photo Heather Irwin

Heritage Public House Brewery and Gastropub: Open daily from 11:30a.m., 1901 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, heritagepublichousesr.com.

Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa:Gypsy Girl Sausage Photo Heather Irwin
Heritage Public House in Santa Rosa:Gypsy Girl Sausage Photo Heather Irwin

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25 thoughts on “Heritage Public House Brewery and Gastropub

  1. Been there twice, decent food and good beer. After reading the posts and “judging” for myself, I’ve come to the same conclusion as many have been saying. Service is key in this industry. The “too cool for school” attitude doesn’t belong in SoCo. I understand, it takes enormous strength to smile and give the customer what he/she needs for a 6 to 8 hour shift. The manager / owner needs to place the right people in those important positions. I know intuition is not tangible, but it most definitely helps your bottom line while competing in the MicroBrewGold market. Good luck to my SoCo brothers and sisters.

  2. I used to go fairly often and loved it. The happy hour was nice and I loved the big rotating beer menu. I was really sad to see the beet burger go.
    I went back with a friend when the new menu and employees started and won’t be back. The wait staff wasn’t excited at all about their jobs. The food was so-so and over priced. Maybe things have improved, but there are plenty of places with high prices and great food with a better atmosphere and view.
    It’s in a strip mall. Next to a Junior College. Your new menu has lost appeal for pretty much that entire clientele. It doesn’t need to be fancy and any improvements could have been made on what was already there. All of the people I’ve talked to are disappointed in the changes and won’t be back either. We already have a Jackson’s…we don’t need another.

  3. Used to go for happy hour and it was decent. Then new owners we decided to go back. Terrible service, over priced food, slow, no happy hour menu. I agree with all the other comments. Our waitress swapped my card with another patron, charging me more and then blamed me, and did nothing about it. Manager was right there and also did nothing. When I left a zero tip (never do that) and came back from restroom I could hear waitress and manager talking bad about me not leaving a tip. I seriously hope she was one of the ones fired… but we did have a great busboy (not sure what the are called) very friendly! Should have just gave him the tip. They seriously need to do a lot more to menu and beer menu before I ever go back.

  4. I’m bummed that people are still not happy. Josh did just post a happy hour menu with some really good prices. I hope people will let me know if things improve or not. I’ll check again soon.

  5. Prices went WAY up with a minimal improvement in the food.

    The best thing about the place before was the great rotating beer list, which has been neutered.

    Happy hour is a joke.

    No thank you.

  6. Wow! Change is hard. I agree with Lundy. I went to Heritage shortly after that re-opened. I was disappointed. Disclaimer: I am a big fan of Jackson’s and I know Josh — sort of — well enough to walk up and talk to him at the grocery store. I told him about my experience at Heritage. He listened and seemed genuinely interested and concerned. He said he was saddened that he “had” to let a lot of the former staff go. “Change is difficult but sometimes absolutely necessary” sometimes. He asked me to give Heritage a second chance. I admit I was reluctant. I hate spending money in restaurants that suck. But I get it’s hard to inherit something at be great right out the gate. I thought yeah ok that’s reasonable restaurants are a tough business. I like this chef, so I went to Heritage with my girlfriends last week. We had a great time! The service was vastly improved and the menu was fun. Granted a bit more expensive than before (probably why some people are mad), but then again fresh food cost more and I am sure my dr. will approve of the lower sodium & even over look the extra beer! My thoughts on this — don’t listen to Heather, don’t listen to previous diners or angry employees. Check it out yourself, make your own decision, then either go back or don’t but know you gave it a chance and your not a sheep.

  7. There this past Sat. nite. Was nearly empty. Not the lively joint it used to be.
    Burger was good, fries terrible. Could have been good if they knew how to cook fries. A quick dunk in the fryer seemed like all it got. Limp is a perfect word to describe.
    And the beer……used to be fun just to read the board let alone work your way thru your wish list. Now, a nearly naked chalkboard with house Bloodline and maybe a small few other craft selections. Far from interesting like it used to be.
    Staff didn’t fall flat but looked like career night for the local high school. Gone are the colorful and characteristic types that made the old version fun.
    To the Owner……get back to the Heritage Public House we knew and loved.

  8. We live in the neighborhood and were happy to see the HH open. We enjoyed the pub atmosphere, the friendly staff and the moderately priced food. We would grab a bite and a beer there once or twice a week. We enjoy going to Jackson’s and looked forward to a Silver managed food operation at HH.

    The changes have not been for the better. The meals we have had do not match Heather’s nice photos. Ours meals have been uneven. After a long wait (even in an almost empty room) we’ve had dishes where part was hot and part was lukewarm. The menu looks better but the execution is inconsistent.

    The enthusiastic wait staff seems to have disappeared. We have sat for long periods of time while wait people chatted at the counter. We tend to go at off hours but the pub bustle seems to be missing now.

    Not sure what crowd they’re going for. We will go a lot less often. The higher prices for moderately better menu prepared and served haphazardly don’t work for us.

    1. Have you been in the last month or so? My experience after opening was very uneven, but seems to have gotten better. HOWEVER…as with any post, if I get a fair amount of feedback that my experience does not match the general experience (and with this i give the caveat that you went in the last month), then I will go back and I will also adjust the post. My opinion is only one…

  9. I’ve been there three times and found both service and food to be on the upswing. Service can be a bit slow; but it’s getting better. The food…I’ve got no complaints. Before the change, the food was mostly frozen, now it’s all fresh thus it costs a bit more, but worth it. As for the SRJC proximity? Well, the kids used to come to “hang” and play pool, have a nosh, a beer. But that’s not going to make a business profitable – so I can see why they have decided to go for a different type of “crowd”.

  10. While indeed as the article states, there are some really good new food items, it is both the removal of some of the old favorites along with the higher prices for the new items for a “pub” that puts me off. Fish & Chips $17??? Who else charges that! I can get just as good at 3rd Street or Toad in the Hole for a few bucks less. What about a smaller cheaper item? The removal of the tacos was a huge loss and everybody loved the bloody beet burger. I’m not sure the intended audience is the SRJC crowd, but the high prices are definitely an issue.

    What I’m even more disappointed in though is the stagnant beer game….and I’m not referring to Bloodline. They emphasize only displaying California breweries, which is admirable, but it doesn’t look like much effort is made to get the “best” of California which I would expect from a Pub that specializes in such. I haven’t seen anything “California” there in a while (both pr and post Josh Silver) that I can’t get any a few other places in town. Specifically to Bloodline though, they made a white chocolate stout called “disobeyish” that was fantastic….unfortunately a one batcher that needs to come back more frequently. It ranks up there with Anomaly and Masters of Disguise by Faction and Stone Brewing respectively. Recently, I thought to stop by. But then thought, there won’t be anything new (beer-wise) and the food is too pricey and I can’t even get a small bite like a fish taco.

  11. My experience mirrors many of these comments. The last time I went in I sat alone at the bar while at least 5 staff milled around not making eye contact, till I finally left. Unbelievable. Will give it another try, but agreed that the prices need to come down before I’ll add it into rotation. How about some good happy hour specials?

  12. I’ve only been back once since they changed owners (and most of the original staff left). The new menu looks good, but surprisingly expensive for what they offer (a $12 plain burger!?!) and their location (RIGHT next to SJRC and in the SRJC (my) neighborhood). I’ll bet this place can do great if they can simplify things and focus their attention their intended customer base – STUDENTS!!! They continue to offer a great tap list, but I won’t be back until they lower their food prices and/or offer an amazing happy hour or student menu.

  13. I went in there a few weeks before they shut down for the change. There was no one in the bar. On the way in, a man in a huge silver (irony not intended, but it’s there) almost ran me over in the parking lot.
    There were at least three employees in the place, including the owner. I sat at the bar and at least two employees looked at me like I did not belong there. I sat waiting for the moment when I would either get a beer or walk out and the jerk that almost ran me over came into the bar and sat down. They started fawning over him and he didn’t even have to order his beer. I might as well have been at Ausiello’s Fifth Street Grill. Needless to say, I made the handful of employees happy by leaving so they didn’t have to bother serving me eventually.
    Needless to say, I was happy to hear that Josh was taking over, as Jackson’s is one of my favorite places and the food and service is always stellar. I went in a couple of weeks after the change and one of my wife’s favorite Jackson’s bartenders was there as the manager. I received fine service that night but haven’t been back since. (It’s not on my regular circuit.)
    It would have been interesting if whoever wrote this review had gone into a little bit of detail about the “fumbles.” Could the fumbles be related to crappy service?
    Some of these comments lead me to believe I may not bother to go back…

    1. Good question…Since my articles appear both in print and online, sometimes the digital producers link to my stories in other sections. It’s usually an accident if they show up twice. Then again, think of it as twice as nice! 😉

  14. I was extremely disappointed not only on the food , had a boring salad with no taste , but service was terrible . I won’t be back.

  15. I read this to my husband while he was cooking dinner and when I got to “My Name’s” comment, he totally laughed and said EXACTLY! If Josh Silvers is going to all this effort, the management better match him…

  16. The service is terrible. The food may be good, but I wouldn’t know, because people dressed as servers and bartenders walked past me, ignored me until finally I left and went to another place. What a lame establishment. The manager even walked past me. I asked for help to place an order, and she said I’ll get someone, but she never did. Do not patronize this restaurant.

  17. The service being slow is always the problem there. I cant figure out why no one cares. Even with only three tables, you can always find five employees sitting around BSing with the owner at the bar while everyone at the tables has empty beer glasses and no food.

  18. I’m not sure that I like the changes at Heritage. The food wasn’t great but I liked having a drink there after work. Was there yesterday and the service was so slow (compared to before the changes) and they seemed to be out of most beer on the list. I sure hope it was only an off day.

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