Bull & Bones Brewhaus and Grill has been staple in Blacksburg for the past 11 years. Now, it has opened a second restaurant in Christiansburg in the former Blackstone location along busy Peppers Ferry Road.
Owner Jon Coburn said he has been thinking about opening in Christiansburg for nearly three years. “There are not that many fine dining places in the region, and it was just the right time to open here,” he said.
In addition, the restaurant had always attracted residents from the neighboring community. “Now, they won’t have to drive,” he said Wednesday at the restaurant.
“It also made sense to locate here with the increased traffic and business that pours through this corridor,” he said.
The Blacksburg restaurant opened in 2008, and another location at the River Course was open for six years.
Coburn had no real restaurant experience when he decided to open the first location. He graduated from West Virginia University and had worked part-time as a server and bartender while in college. His undergraduate degree was in biology, and he even considered going into the medical field. Instead he became a medical sale representative.
Part of that job was to entertain doctors and other medical personnel, taking them to dinner and drinks. It was that practice led him to open Bull and Bones.
“I would take doctors and others to Roanoke, making me realize we needed something here in the New River Valley,” he said.
Those same travels led Coburn to see places with breweries, good food and pool tables.
“So, after seeing that I decided to combine everything together and open B&B,” he said.
The new location, which officially opened Monday, Aug. 19, is 4,800 sq. ft. compared to 10,258 sq. ft. in Blacksburg. While patrons will see a lot of the original menu items (wings, ribs and burgers) they’ve grown accustomed to in Blacksburg, they will also see some new things at the new location.
“We have at least a dozen different items in Christiansburg, and I think people will be pleased with them,” Coburn said.
“But everything will be fresh. No microwave here. We will have our own brewery and be able to smoke everything onsite,” he said.
The new restaurant boasts a 70-inch television screen in the sports bar with as many as 10 others scattered throughout the building and outside on a patio-seating area. In addition, the space has a conference room for up to 24 people in lieu of the dance floor and pool tables that reside in Blacksburg.
“I want this to be more family-friendly and a focus on the community here in Christiansburg,” he said.
In addition to restauranteuring, Jon Coburn also farms. He recently invested in one of the hottest trends across the country and state– growing hemp. Adding spice to the menu, he plans to combine the farm with his restaurant.
“After the recent changes in the way hemp is judged, I am going to sell the (CBD) oil that is extracted from it.”
Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active ingredient in cannabis derived from the hemp plant, and leading health experts say it may help treat conditions like pain, insomnia, and anxiety.
Many people, according to Coburn, finding it to be a relief for migraines, joint pains, insomnia and other medical conditions. The oil has also shown promise in treatment for both depression and anxiety.
Bull and Bones will sell the oil in 33.3 mg syringes and offer it as an infused additive to patrons’ drinks.
“This is common in places like Colorado and other western states, so I thought why not here,” Coburn said.
Of course, Coburn hopes people remember his restaurant for its food like wings, ribs and brisket, so he is considering adding the oil to a bar-b-cue base too.
This weekend, B&B will defend its “wing” title at the Roanoke Wingfest. Last year, they were the 2018’s best overall and best smoked-wing winner.
Coburn also owns and operates Black Hen and Bar Blue in Blacksburg and is already considering where to open another Bull and Bones. “I really would like to locate in Salem, Roanoke or Wytheville, or maybe all three,” he concluded.