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BJ's brings brewhouse atmosphere to mall

Server Ashley Clifford, 22, of Modesto, serves lunch at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse. Located in the Vintage Faire Mall, BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse opened in August 2008 and features a full menu including deep dish pizzas, sandwhiches, pasta dishes, and BJ's branded beer. September 23, 2008. (Brian Ramsay / The Modesto Bee)
Server Ashley Clifford, 22, of Modesto, serves lunch at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse. Located in the Vintage Faire Mall, BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse opened in August 2008 and features a full menu including deep dish pizzas, sandwhiches, pasta dishes, and BJ's branded beer. September 23, 2008. (Brian Ramsay / The Modesto Bee)

The new restaurant and brewhouse BJ's offers diners abundant choices in an open space.

Started in 1978 by two friends as BJ's Chicago Pizzeria in Santa Ana, the restaurant began opening locations across the Southern California coastline and in 1996 added breweries to its repertoire. Since then, the chain has opened from coast to coast with eateries up and down the West Coast, as well as in Colorado, Texas, Ohio and Florida, among other states.

BJ's opened its Modesto location in August. The eatery is part of the new complex The Village at Vintage Faire. Its fare includes deep-dish pizzas featuring specialty blends like "Sweet Pig" and "Great White," as well as build-your own pies, half-pound Angus hamburgers, knife-and-fork sandwiches, pastas and other entrees, like grilled salmon, New York strip and baby back ribs.

The Brewhouse also serves up a mix of award-winning handcrafted beers, from hefeweizen to pale ale, porter and stout.

"Guests appreciate our high-energy, family-friendly environment, as well as the variety in our menu, which features over 100 items," said Greg Levin, BJ's executive vice president and CFO. "Our guests are always amazed at the quality of the dining experience they get at BJ's, especially in light of our $12 average check."

— Marijke Rowland
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