The Whale, as it’s already being called, had a hell of an opening weekend. The success of the grand opening party, which is to say day one, can be measured in the amount of kegs the shop went through, which is to say 21. The day’s action bumped the new shop to the fifth-most checked-in location on Untappd, globally. Yeah.
Back to the beer.
The Sleepy Whale, like the Wandering Tortoise, keeps a tight and heavily exclusive beer menu. It has 32 taps, and features Arizona beer companies like Wren House, Arizona Wilderness, Pueblo Vida in Tucson, Dark Sky from Flagstaff, and more. In fact, Dark Sky gave the Whale a keg of anniversary beer to shell out before the staff had even tapped it themselves. It’s a supportive group.
Almost as supportive as the community surrounding downtown Chandler, in fact. Evans says it's not unsurprising that a new spot with good beer and good marketing earned so many patrons, but the new Whale team, and the amount of kegs they went through, still blew his mind.
And Evans was once one of those southeast Valley faces. He’s from the Chandler area, and knows the lack of craft beer concepts in that part of town. “I always had to travel for beer,” he says, which is why he picked the rising downtown Chandler area for his third spot (in addition to Tortoise and Hops).
Well, that and Chandler’s walkability. Well, more so once the construction clears up.
Even with three spots humming along, Evans is still hustling. At press time, he’s working to open a fourth spot, again with Fatica and Kemmet. The Theodore is in the early stages of opening in Phoenix proper this August. Which is funny, because, “I hate ‘the’ and I still seem to do it anyway,” he says.
The Sleepy Whale. 290 South Arizona Avenue, Chandler.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily