Republica opened its doors in the fall of 2013 with an ambitious menu that featured dynamic flavors and fresh ingredients frequently sourced from local vendors. Owner Petro Drakopoulos referred to it as a "food revolution" and the mantra stuck with the little gastropub, which has now become a Berkley mainstay and a dining destination for metro Detroiters. The interior space has a warm, inviting atmosphere with elements of rustic design that Drakopolous hopes will "feel like an extension of our personality," referring to his wife, mother-in-law, and father-in-law who all play a role in the ownership and day-to-day operation of Republica.
Outside, a charming patio seats several for dining on warmer evenings or a quick daytime lunch. And the menu, which is divided into small plates, sandwiches and burgers, and entrees, offers numerous gluten-free and vegetarian options. The combinations of ingredients denote a gourmet vibe, making it a great place to take the discerning foodie in your life. And for those of you in search of new and mind-expanding burger toppings, the 10-ounce "Revolution" burger comes fully stacked with smoked Gouda, bacon, tomato, fried egg, house onion rings, arugula, and "srirachannaise" (Sriracha-mayonnaise) on a brioche bun. Another popular menu item is the gluten-free "Home Wrecka" off the small plates menu — a third pound of organic bacon sausage over a sweet potato mash accented with serrano pepper. Frequently ordered vegetarian dishes include the sweet and savory "Tree Hugger Salad," the grilled veggie "Urban Farm" sandwich, and the "Flower Roast," a cauliflower roasted whole with walnut-garlic sauce. Pair any of those dishes with a $5 glass of house wine, a permanent menu feature at Republica, and you might just stick to the budget while wholly impressing your date.
The $5 wine special is one small part of Republica's curated craft wine selection, which devotes itself largely to Spanish wines. The bar also offers a unique beer program, in which only two Michigan craft beers are kept on tap and rotated about six times a week. The bottle lists rotate weekly as well, ensuring the selection of beer is extremely fresh and different each time people visit. The cocktail menu rotates seasonally and currently offers some perfect end-of-summer drinks like the "Basil Blood Orange Gimlet."
Overall, Republica strikes the right balance with a casual, family-run atmosphere, edgy menu items, and a high standard of service that Drakopolous proudly credits to "the 75 years of collective restaurant and bar experience" shared between him and his family.