Friends to open new downtown eatery

SIDNEY — Brew Nation, an eatery on the square in downtown Sidney, has closed, but the space won’t be shuttered for long.

Local residents Mike Nuss and Phil Aselage will soon open Bruno’s in the same location, 110 E. Poplar St.

They have not yet set an opening date. They’re waiting as liquor and vendor’s licenses get processed. In the meantime, the two men have been “cleaning and tearing apart the kitchen,” Aselage said, in preparation for the big day.

Neither of the principles in the business has operated a restaurant or bar before. They purchased furnishings and equipment from Brew Nation’s owners and are not planning to radically change the decor of the place. Much of the menu is likely to stay the same, too, at least in the beginning. But service will be different.

“Everybody said waitresses were what was missing,” Nuss said. Brew Nation had asked patrons to order at a counter before taking seats at tables. Nuss and Aselage plan to hire eight to 10 people.

“We’re not going to change anything huge, but we will be a full-service restaurant,” Aselage said.

They may also streamline the lunch menu somewhat, “so people can get lunch and get back to work,” he added. They will offer sandwiches, salads, pizza and calzones, among other items.

“Once or twice a month, we’ll have musicians,” Nuss said.

The two have been friends for 30 years, but this is their first shared business venture. Why a restaurant and bar?

“It was for sale. It was good, so we decided to go for it,” Aselage said.

Bruno’s will be open for lunch and then into the evening.

Nuss named the place for his father.

“Bruno was my father’s middle name. I wanted to name my kid Bruno. But then I had three girls. By the time I had a son, my then-wife said, ‘No way.’ I think it’s a cool name,” he laughed.

By Patricia Ann Speelman