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Auburn's Oddfellas is part of a downtown revival
Figuring out the concept for OddFellas Pub and Eatery was a no-brainer, according to co-owners David Allen and Christian McLendon.
Allen has owned the Truitt Building at 102 W. Main St. in Auburn since 2004. In that time, Allen – who also owns Longhorn Barbecue – has struggled to find a good anchor for the building's bottom floor. After the last tenant, The Pit, went out of business, Allen and his business partner, Matt Altick, teamed up with McLendon to take matters into their own hands.
"We wanted to put in something neighbor-ish, and we came up with the idea for a pub," Allen said. "We needed to find an identity for the space because we'd been chasing it."
"The pub concept is simple: everyone is welcome," McLendon said. "This place is for everybody and anyone."
With McLendon leading the redesign of the space, the team went to work, designing a pub with dark, hand-worked wood that attracts customers and makes them feel at home.
"It was a labor of love. We did all the wood work ourselves," McLendon said. "We did all the booths and tables by hand."
OddFellas relies heavily on a local theme with its on-tap beer selection.
"It fits in with our theme," McLendon said. "We have 25 selections on tap, and that's a big part of our focus. That and our wine selection."
On the food side, OddFellas' menu features creative takes on comfort food.
"It's our focus," Allen said. "We serve steaks, but we also serve pork chops."
In addition, the menu features such home-cooking favorites as cottage pie and macaroni and cheese, along with other reasonably priced sandwiches and pizzas.
"Whatever you have in your pocket, we can accommodate you," McLendon said.
OddFellas, which opened its doors on New Year's Eve, hosts its official grand opening March 21.
The pub also will feature St. Patrick's Day specials, such as corned beef and cabbage, next Thursday and host the Professional Union Firefighter's Light My Fire Auction, a benefit for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, on March 26.
Allen and McLendon hope OddFellas becomes a cornerstone of a new revival of downtown Auburn.
"We're excited for the future of downtown," Allen said. "I think this is our time."
"This community is ready for good local places. They don't want to go out to a national chain," McLendon said.
"We've had a lot of fun with this," Allen said. "Hands down, this is the most fun I've had opening a restaurant."