‘Beyond’ Opens Today

Renee -- September 10th, 2009

ViewFromBalcony_LocalArtworkBeyond, the new restaurant downtown on Water St., is open to the public for the first time today from 11-2:30 for lunch, and 4:30-10:30 for dinner. Conceptualized by the owners of Taste of Thai restaurant, Beyond is bringing some new flavors to downtown, which Executive Chef Bobby Scheve calls “Asian Fusion”.

The restaurant serves most of its dishes ‘tapas style’, which means patrons can try 2 or 3 appetizer-sized meals in one visit. Beyond also serves salads and entrees for a more traditional restaurant meal. In addition, Praserth Saesow, Beyond’s Sushi Chef, will be serving up 17 different types of sushi rolls. Cy Khochareun, General Manager of Beyond, said a main goal of the restaurant was to “get people to try new things” and that they wanted to offer “something for everyone”.

Some examples from the extensive menu include “Sesame Seaweed Salad” for $5, “Roasted Goat Cheese” for $6, “Beyond Cobb Salad” for $7, “Sake Ceviche” for $9, “New Orleans” cajun salmon sushi rolls for $9, “Ahi Tuna” entree for $20, and “Kobe Beef Steak” entree for $26. In addition, there is a full drink menu with wine, sake, and cocktails.

One unique feature of Beyond is its “two-server” system, in which two people from the wait-staff team up to serve a set of tables. According to Chef Scheve, the increased service speed is a necessity for the tapas-style meals.

Khochareun emphasized that the restaurant supports local farmers and the staff regularly shops for eggs and vegetables at the Shenandoah Produce Auction and the Harrisonburg Farmer’s Market when ingredients are in season.

Interview with GM Cy Khochareun and Executive Chef Bobby Scheve

The restaurant has had two “soft openings” with 100 invited guests each, and received overwhelmingly positive reviews on the customer surveys they collected. (Most of the survey pages I skimmed through had all top scores circled and glowing feedback comments about both the food and the service.)

Finishing decorative touches were still being put in place for the grand opening as I was conducting the interview. There are enough tables and chairs on two levels, including a few tables on the outdoor patio, to seat over 230 guests. The restaurant, in the building which used to house “Spanky’s” sandwich joint, has been completely renovated with a modern decor in a primarily gray and deep orange color scheme with dark wood tones.  During our walk-through, Khochareun pointed out that the artwork on the walls was painted by local artists, and showed off the glass tiles on the bathroom wall as evidence of the owners’ close attention to detail.

Beyond closes between lunch and dinner. Regular hours are:

  • Monday-Thursday, Lunch 11am-2:30pm, dinner 4:30-10:30pm
  • Friday, 11-2:30 and 4:30-11
  • Saturday dinner only, 4:30-11
  • Sunday lunch only, 11-3

Click here for photos of the nearly-complete Beyond.

15 Responses to “‘Beyond’ Opens Today”

  1. Kenny says:

    wow, the wait is finally over! Thanks for the update Renee

  2. Emmy says:

    Great interview Renee! It looks like it’s going to be a fabulous restaurant and they’ve certainly done some major improvements to the look of the place!

  3. Looking forward to checking it out (but will probably sit/eat inside). Nice job, Renee.

  4. Joey Groah says:

    Congratulations to Beyond, and thanks for the in-depth information Renee.

    Our office is already concerned about the proximity of Shanks and Midtown to our new front door, Dave’s and Clementine to the East, and now Beyond…

  5. Renee says:

    Thanks, everyone!

    Joey, yeah I noticed the parking garage was full when I went to do the interview – wondering where everyone’s going to park during the day! At least you have a lot of good lunch options nearby :)

  6. TM says:

    So…. no more writing on the tables/walls?

  7. Renee says:

    TM, I don’t think that’s the kind of ‘local art’ they’re using now :)

  8. Tony says:

    If the food is anywhere near as good as that at Taste of Thai then we are in for a real treat! Thanks for bringing us up to date Renee.

  9. Tina says:

    Went last night for dinner and it was great! As mentioned, you can order “plates to share” and/or entrees. We ordered two sushi rolls, plus 3 plates. Everything was very tasty, and it was too much for just two people. There were good choices of red/white wines and mixed drinks (although the menu may seem limited compared to some places). Prices seemed reasonable for what you got. Apparently the lunch menu is a bit different, with pad thai and rice dishes. Haven’t seen it yet.

    It was a fun dining experience and I’ll definitely be going again!

  10. I was impressed with what they did to the interior of the old Spanky’s. Virtually unrecognizable. I like the atmosphere — modern/clean/dark. I went there last night to check it out and have a drink, but haven’t had a chance to eat there yet. Maybe this weekend.

  11. Joey Groah says:

    I’ll echo the sentiments about the space: it’s fantastic. Great use of color, texture and lighting. Very open, very clean style.

    I’m new to sushi so I don’t have a lot of context there, but I really enjoyed the food. The miso soup was also tasty.

  12. Josh says:

    I went for lunch today. I thought the interior was great. We’re lucky to have new places like the Blue Nile, Clementine, Jack Brown’s and now Beyond bringing some more class and style to the downtown scene.

    The food was okay. I had sushi. I don’t think it was as good as the sushi at Jako’s. Our appetizers were tasty but not spectacular. Once I got back to the office I realized they forgot to bring out the miso soup.

    All that being said, it’s their second day. They had a decent crowd there and I think they’ll do great once they get a few kinks worked out.

    Expect to pay $10-15 per person at lunch and probably around $20-30 per person for dinner.

  13. Josh says:

    JMU’s student newspaper published an article about Beyond:

    Beyond Expectations : The Breeze
    http://breezejmu.org/2009/09/14/beyond-expectations/

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