Handmade pizza in a relaxed atmosphere


Barrelhouse Pub & Pizza has daily drink specials. The location opened January 2018. | Mckenzie Ford for The Easterner

By Erica Halbert, Contributor

Barrelhouse Pub & Pizza offers not only handmade pizzas and cocktails, but also weekly events to the students in Cheney.

The restaurant and bar features a full menu of appetizers, entrees and desserts. Appetizers include items like cheese bread, dips and chicken wings. Entrees feature build-your-own calzones, hot sandwiches and salads.

Of course, the star of the menu is the pizza. Barrelhouse offers a variety of topping combinations, such as the Thai pizza: house-made peanut sauce, chicken, roasted red peppers, onions, mozzarella and Sriracha on a handmade 12-inch or 16-inch pizza crust. The restaurant also offers the option to build your own pizza, choosing from a list of meats, vegetables and sauces.

As the name suggests, Barrelhouse is also a pub. It offers a variety of cocktails on top of housing 16 options on tap, as well as daily drink specials.

Owner Mike Lyon opened Barrelhouse in January 2017, just two weeks after purchasing the building. Prior to Barrelhouse, the building was occupied by Zentropa, another pizza restaurant.

Initially, Barrelhouse’s menu was nearly identical to Zentropa’s.

“We left the menu basically the same,” said Lyon. “The food was excellent.”

Barrelhouse’s transformation came in other forms. Lyon changed a portion of the layout in the restaurant, adding new booths, new eating surfaces and converting the secondary eating area into a lounge. The lounge includes multiple couches and a 100-inch TV screen matrix.

Prior to Barrelhouse, Lyon was in the bar business for ten years.

Lyon had experience in Cheney prior to opening the restaurant. He attended EWU in 1994 for a year and coached volleyball clubs for the high school. His time in Cheney helped encourage him to purchase the restaurant.

“The building is excellent,” said Lyon. “And the food, everything is great.”

Though the menu was initially identical to Zentropa’s, Lyon has since added an appetizer and a dessert menu, as well as the option for 16-inch pizzas. The previous restaurant had only offered 12-inch pizzas.

Several of the menu items are made in-house. All the dough for the breads and the crusts are handmade, as well as several of the sauces and dressings.

According to Lyon, the best-selling items in the restaurant are the calzones. The calzones come custom made, with several options for sauces, cheeses, meats and vegetables. Lyon said that the Barrel Bites–dough balls covered with garlic butter and parmesan cheese–are a close second.

Lyon’s favorite menu item is the sweet Barrel Bites dough balls sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar with icing for dipping.

While some restaurants struggle in college towns, Lyon hasn’t had any issues.

“Cheney has been absolutely great to work for,” Lyon said.

As well as being a restaurant and bar, Barrelhouse offers a multitude of events. The restaurant hosts trivia night on Tuesdays, and Lyon is working on getting their game nights up and running again.

“We’ll start game nights back up again as soon as I find the right person to do that,” Lyon said.  

Additionally, Barrelhouse hosts a weekly EWU Basketball radio show, which airs on ESPN Radio.

Last year, Barrelhouse aired every EWU football game, with viewing parties for away games.

According to Lyon, Barrelhouse is a big sponsor of EWU.

“Eastern is a critical reason for anyone’s success in this town,” said Lyon. “We want to support them as much as possible.”

Barrelhouse Pub & Pizza is open every day from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. The restaurant offers dine-in and take-out service, and is working on getting EagleFlex access. It is located at 122 College Ave., across the street from Brewster Hall.