This summer, Rik Hall and Ben Parsons plan to open Baerlic Beerhall and Garden in the Rose City Park neighborhood. Paul Del Vecchio of Ethos Development purchased the property at 6035 N.E. Halsey St. – former home of the Pawfee Shop coffee shop and doggie daycare center – to develop as a food cart space with the Baerlic facilities serving as an anchor inside the existing, renovated building. Since 2014, Hall and Parsons have owned and operated the Baerlic Brewery and Taproom at 2235 S.E. 11th Ave. in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood.
“We’re hoping to be open by mid-August so we can still soak up some of the sunshine,” said Parsons. “The Barley Pod location will be an extension of what we’ve already built in Southeast, but with its own personality to suit the concept and neighborhood. We’re building it with an open-air, communal experience in mind and are focusing on taking the best attributes of a Portland food cart pod – open air, communal energy, a taste for every person, flavor and lifestyle – and do our damnedest to improve on that.”
“Food carts are a great way for restaurateurs to get started,” said Del Vecchio. “What many current pods lack are year-round amenities. Having Baerlic as our anchor, we can create a vibrant indoor space that cart customers can use too. We anticipate 10-12 highly-curated carts. There will be some familiar names and some new ones. Our corner of Rose City Park is a great location. It’s within walking distance of an established residential neighborhood. It’s near Normandale Park. Our corner is also highly trafficked due to the surface routes to I-84 on-ramps.”
“The food carts in this city are the best anywhere,” said Parsons. “The biggest drawback is those eight or nine months of kind of miserable weather. Our concept is working to bring out the best of both worlds. We’re going to build as much of a year-round place as we can – with indoor seating and tented, heated seating – while maintaining an open-air feel. Lots of light and plant life and lush color to keep it energetic and lots of communal seating to accommodate as many different groups of people as we can. We’ll offer a solid and wide selection of our beer, with 12 taps of Baerlic as well as wine, cider, kombucha and non-alcoholic drinks. We’ll focus on hospitality and quality beer and let the food carts do what they do best.”
Baerlic brews a wide range of ales and lagers from American, English, German and Belgian brewing traditions.
“We tend to take classic styles and add our own subtle – or not so subtle – twist,” said Parsons. “We believe that craft beer consumers like choice, so we try to include a process of experimentation. We strive for balance in all our beers – and not just balance of flavors and textures, but balance in living and experience. At the end of the day, I want people to forget what they are drinking and remember the experience they had while drinking it. Our philosophy is that local and independent businesses are just better – better for the health of our neighborhoods and larger community and better for our beer. Independent, local beer is better and fresher. Baerlic is a stubbornly independent and holistic business. Ninety percent of our ingredients come from the Pacific Northwest and we source from independent, small businesses like Crosby Hops in Woodburn and Imperial Organic Yeast in Gresham.”
Hall and Parsons plan to do much of the tenant-improvement work themselves.
“Most of the improvements have already been designed and planned, so it’s really just about getting the go-ahead from the city to get in there and crank it out,” said Parsons. “Just like our first location, we are going to do as much of the work ourselves as possible. We’ll need professionals for the heavy lifting, but the majority of the work we’ll do ourselves. I didn’t know much about the neighborhood until this opportunity presented itself. The neighborhood is maybe Portland’s best-kept secret and the second I saw the location I was hooked. I’ve spent a bunch of time just wandering around over there with my wife and boys. Normandale is such a beautiful park. My biggest hope is that we can become an asset to the area.”
For more information, call 503-477-9418 or visit www.baerlicbrewing.com.