"I've been doing this for 15 years," says restaurateur Julian Wright. "This is definitely going to be my crowning jewel."
As the man behind such popular Tempe spots as La Bocca, The Handlebar, and Dos Gringos Street Bar, that's really saying something. So what is this new project about which Wright's so excited? How about a 14,000-square-foot brewery and restaurant that will specialize in European and specifically German and Belgian-style beers.
See also: 5 Best Restaurants in Tempe Right Now
The Mill Avenue brewpub will be called Pedal Haus Brewery and will be located at 730 S. Mill Avenue -- behind Handlebar and near AMC Centerpoint 11 movie theater and the West 6th apartments.
Wright's brought on well-know local "master brewer" Derek Osborne to oversee the brewery's 15-barrel brew system. Osbone's experience comes from time spent working with BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse in both Arizona and California.
To start, Wright says he expects to have anywhere from two to six house-made beers to offer customers. But in total, Pedal Haus will feature 20 tap handles and will feature local, national, and international beers. There will probably be a nice selection of imported Belgian beers to compliment the brewery's own Belgian-style creations, Wright says.
In total Pedal Haus should be able to produce 3,000 barrels a year (that's about 6,000 kegs), so the brewery will mainly be making beer for on-site consumption.
The food will be a mix of "Belgian gastropub" style eats, and more classic American gastropub fare, the owner says. And though he's not ready to announce a name yet, Wright says he's brought on "an awesome local chef" to oversee the kitchen.
The space is only in the early construction stages, but Wright's aiming to open by early September. The design includes three separate bars (one inside, one outside, and one that's indoor/outdoor), as well as a 6,000-square-foot patio that will be able to seat some 300 people. The expansive patio will be split into traditional dining and a dog-friendly beer garden complete with yard games and a live music stage. (The patio will even offer a special dog menu.)
In total, the restaurant and brewery will seat about 460 people, Wright says, making Pedal Haus the restaurateur's largest project to date.