Open Range American Grill reopened as The Range Grill & Tap in May, after the owners revamped the space to make it more family-friendly while offering a larger selection of beer and wine. With a new patio expected to open this weekend, the Batavia bar/restaurant appears set to become a popular summer hangout.
Motif: Walls are lined with beer signs, though the bar plans to add some Wild West-themed decor. A wall with windows separates the bar area from the family-focused dining room, where one of the TVs is tuned to kids shows. The Range also offers a collection of games.
The Range Grill & Tap35 N. Water St., Batavia, (630) 761-0145
Hours: 4 p.m. to midnight Monday; 11 a.m. to midnight Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday
There are TVs tuned to sports in the bar area and two more will be installed in the enclosed deck, which is separated from the dining area by garage doors.
Food: Barbecue dishes dominate the menu, including pulled pork and tender if a bit fatty beef brisket. Burgers, pizza and tacos are also hits. Tacos can be filled with brisket, battered cod or mahi mahi, served in a corn or flour tortilla topped with crispy cabbage, pico de gallo and a mild sauce. Portions are huge. The appetizers could easily be a meal and entrees are all served with two sides, with options including crunchy waffle fries, big slices of fried zucchini served with a creamy dipping sauce and baked beans presented in a little pan.
Liquid consumption: The Range offers 70 brews by the bottle or can and nine on draft, with additional taps planned. The draft list changes weekly, though you can always count on finding Kentucky Bourbon Barrel and something from Chicago's Revolution Brewing.
Crowd: The bar mostly brings in people in their late 20s through 40s, with many families congregating in the dining room, especially on Sunday when kids eat free with the purchase of an adult entree. Friday and Saturday are very busy during dinner, with waits running 45 minutes to an hour.
Service: Our server was friendly and shared the most popular items on the menu with us. When we were low on a drink, she took a fresh order and timed its delivery for when we were ready for the next one.
Music: The Range periodically hosts dueling pianos and acoustic acts.
Parking: The bar has a small free lot.
Overall: The Range is an easy pick for a night out, offering entertainment for both parents and kids along with daily specials and big portions that keep your meal affordable.