28850 US-98 #200
Daphne, AL 36526
When it comes to what Mark Bentz was meant to do, the answer has always been clear. Working in restaurants since he was 16, Mark can’t imagine getting up each day to work in any other industry. So after he and his family moved to the Gulf Coast in 2004, he opened Bentz’s Pizza Pub two years later. With that restaurant now closed, it wasn’t even a decision to open another. “I’ve been doing this my whole life, so I just figured I would keep doing what I was doing,” Mark explains.
Opened in 2018, Yinzers Brew & Grill on Highway 98 in Daphne is the culmination of Mark bringing his native Pittsburgh to his new home by the Gulf. The restaurant’s namesake, Yinzers, is a term used for those native to Pittsburgh and is derived from West Pennsylvania’s word for y’all – yinz. Unsurprisingly, they make a mean cheese steak, though Mark notes they are well known for their pizzas, wings and burgers as well. Mark credits his culinary expertise to the years he spent working for a restaurant that won “Best Burger in Pittsburgh” repeatedly and even was honored as having one of the top four burgers in the country by Food Network during his tenure there.
The key to good food? Fresh, homemade ingredients that can play varying roles in several dishes, Mark explains. “Pretty much everything is fresh and homemade here,” he adds. “You have to have uses for every ingredient that way you don’t have stuff sitting around. Especially in this business, you got to have fresh stuff all the time.” It doesn’t hurt to have 16 beers on tap and a small arcade area, featuring pinball and a few other favorites, to keep the kids entertained either.
Especially in this business, you got to have fresh stuff all the time.– Mark Bentz, Yinzers Brew & Grill
Mark’s first restaurant on the Eastern Shore, Bentz’s Pizza Pub, was where the Southern love for Pittsburgh began. He met so many fellow Yinzers after being featured in The Mobile Press-Register that he had to double the size of the space to fit everyone cheering on the Steelers each football Sunday. Recently of course, packing out his current restaurant hasn’t been the norm thanks to COVID-19’s impacts on the restaurant industry. “With a new business you want to continue to grow,” Mark explains. “We’re below 70 percent of what we were at. I’d be happy to just get back to where we were before. It’s been a really hard year for restaurants.”
Despite the challenges, Mark sees 2021 looking up, already seeing business increasing a bit from the past year. In the meantime, he plans to just stay the course and continue spending time in the kitchen baking bread from scratch. “I’ve been in this business so long,” Mark says. “This past year has taught me perspective; enjoy what you have because it can be gone quick.”