With an on-site brewery and restaurant, vintage arcade games, craft cocktails, karaoke and extensive event space, Manchester’s new Elicit Brewing Company is poised to become a Hartford County entertainment destination.

The new concept by the Eli’s Restaurant Group, which opened Nov. 18, takes the place of the former Adams Mill restaurant, which closed in April after 37 years in business. Elicit will feature a seven-barrel brewing system (and large selection of Connecticut and national beer brands) and a range of casual-food options. The space also features an upstairs craft cocktail bar, and Elicit will introduce an outdoor beer garden in the warm months.

“Ironically, 25 years ago, when we opened our first location in Hamden, we wanted to create an environment that had something for everyone,” says Rich Riccitelli, co-owner and co-founder of Eli’s Restaurant Group. “And 25 years later, we’ve created a venue that has something for everyone.”

Eli’s Restaurant Group owns and operates the Eli’s restaurants in Branford, Hamden, Milford and Orange, as well as Roost in Hamden, a fast-casual chicken spot. This is the group’s first location in Hartford County, and Elicit will become the fourth brewery in Manchester, joining Labyrinth Brewing on Forest Street, Urban Lodge Brewing on Purnell Place and 2nd Bridge Brewing Co. on Hilliard Street.

ATMOSPHERE: The team has transformed the former restaurant and banquet facility into a multi-use space, with a lounge featuring sleek couches and banquettes and an open, airy beer-hall style room with long tables and benches, showcasing exposed brick walls painted with murals of Connecticut beer brands of yesteryear. The venue’s seven-barrel brewing system is visible from the main hall, where Elicit will produce six to eight styles of its own beers.



An arcade alcove contains 17 token-operated vintage games, like Donkey Kong, Centipede and Tetris, and another first-floor room will host karaoke. Upstairs, there’s a craft cocktail bar, with a menu of classics (martinis, Negronis, Sazeracs) and other libations featuring twists on original recipes.

FOOD: Elicit’s menu of casual bites ($4 to $14) offers small plates and shareable appetizers, thin-crust pizzas, loaded waffle fries, tacos and salads.

Snacks include jumbo pretzels from Hartford Baking Company, hot dogs and bratwursts, chicken tenders and wings, beer cheese fondue, Philly cheesesteak egg rolls and tahini-roasted cauliflower. Tacos are filled with cauliflower, Thai shrimp, jackfruit, barbacoa and chicken tinga, and pizzas include margherita, smoked buffalo and Italian combo varieties. Weekend brunch fare will include chicken and waffles, avocado toast, breakfast pizza and bacon pancake dippers.

DRINKS: Elicit’s brewery, led by brewmaster Brian Ayers, will vary in style, including IPAs, double IPAs, fruited sours and stouts.

“Like our project, this lineup is going to be a something for everybody kind of thing,” he says. The brewery will also offer Elicit cans for sale to take home.

The downstairs bar features 50 taps, 40 of which will be dedicated to beer, including Elicit’s offerings and other Connecticut, regional and national brands. Other taps will dispense wines and batch cocktails. If you’re looking for bourbon and other fine spirits, the upstairs cocktail bar offers a full menu of signature drinks ($10 to $13) plus wines by the glass and bottle.

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Elicit will also serve as the “official afterparty” location for the Manchester Road Race on Nov. 28, offering a beer for one penny with the purchase of a food item for anyone who comes in with a race bib.

HOURS AND DETAILS: Elicit, at 165 Adams St. in Manchester, will be open 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday. 860-791-8440, elicitbrewing.com.

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