Little Apple Brewing Company hosts Bastille Day pop-up dinner

Manhattan Residents Richard Thompson and Kristy Johnson smile as their drinks are prepared at Little Apple Brewing Company's Bastille Day celebration on July 14, 2017. (Nicholas Cady | The Collegian)

The Little Apple Brewing Company hosted a Bastille Day pop-up dinner event July 14. Guests were served a traditional French three-course meal made with local ingredients for $32 and with wine parings for an additional $14.

Kelly Loub, co-owner of the Little Apple Brewing Company, said she and her husband Russ Loub had the idea to have a Bastille Day-themed dinner after they visited France last summer.

“Russ is a chef, and in his path of cooking, he’s always been very attracted to French-style cooking,” Kelly Loub said. “We were actually over in Bordeaux last summer for Bastille Day. As we got into July, it’s like, ‘Hey, we should have a Bastille Day pop-up.’ We love French food; we love French wine, so why not? It just made sense to us.”

Bastille Day commemorates the Storming of the Bastille, the overtaking of the fortress and political prison by anti-monarchist revolutionaries on July 14, 1789. The conflict signaled a turning point in the French Revolution that eventually ended the rule of King Louis XVI and the beginning of republican democracy. Today, France celebrates Bastille Day with parades and fireworks.

Isabel Miller, waitress at the Little Apple Brewing Company, said the pop-up dinner taught her things she did not know about French food.

“I knew there was a French Independence Day, but I didn’t know it was yesterday,” Miller said. “I got to learn a little bit about French dishes, different cheeses that they make in southern France, things that I wouldn’t normally eat.”

In addition to a cheese plate with southern French cheeses, the evening’s menu featured other French items such as vichyssoise, salade Lyonnaise and Paris-Brest. Kelly and Russ Loub chose coq au vin for the main entrée because they said they like using local ingredients.

“We work closely with local farmers,” Kelly Loub said. “One couple in particular, Piccalilli Farm, they had just gone through their harvesting of their chickens, so that’s why we decided to go with the coq au vin as the main entree. We featured their chickens and their fresh produce, and that’s why we went that direction.”

Briana Scroggs, waitress at the Little Apple Brewing Company, said she and the customers enjoyed the dinner.

“Every pop-up dinner that they do is fun and interesting,” Scroggs said. “It’s a fun experience for everyone. The customers all enjoy themselves with every meal, all the plates are clean. It’s just a good time.”

Kelly Loub said she agreed with Scroggs and said vistors at events like the Bastille Day pop-up dinner are different from their average customers.

“The people who come to these kinds of events, they’re wanting to be here,” Kelly Loub said. “They really look forward to it, and they are engaging people that are just coming to eat.”

Miller said she wished more students would give the restaurant a try.

“We don’t get a lot of younger customers per se, maybe because we’re on the other side of town, but I think that if students have never tried this place, they honestly should,” Miller said. “Russ does an amazing job with his food. He spends so many hours dedicating his work to this place. He’s here all the time. He really does care, and I would just like to see more students in here.”

I’m Stephanie Wallace, and I am the assistant news editor of the Collegian, a contributing writer, and a copy editor. I’m a senior, majoring in English major and minoring in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies. You may have seen me riding my scooter around campus as I rush to my classes and much too many clubs. Some organizations I work with include the English Department Ambassadors, K-State Libraries Student Ambassadors and The Burrow — K-State’s chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance.