Bellingham, Washington’s booming craft beer scene is about to become even richer. A new public house named The Local will be opening this month on Railroad Avenue, downtown Bellingham.
Menace Brewing owners Benjamin Buccarelli, former brewer at Kulshan Brewery, and Brandon Petersen, chef from The Fork at Agate Bay, along with their partner, Tom Raden, and friends have been busy for the past three months transforming the former Cicchetti's Pizza space into a “modern rustic” pub with plenty of natural wood, creative lighting and a floor plan that will encourage interaction.
The Local will serve as Menace Brewing’s off-site tasting room, plus it will showcase local and lesser-known beers from the Cascadia region – from British Columbia to northern California.
The pub’s menu will feature small plates, which will change regularly as the pub’s taps rotate.
“This has been Brandon and my dream for years, to open a pub where both beer and food are elevated and brought together in a casual setting,” says Buccarelli. “We want foodies to discover good beers they never would have tried and beer lovers to try food they might have never considered.”
Food will be prepared with the accompanying beer in mind, and the beers will be selected to complement the food.
“The idea is that every dish will have a recommended beer pairing,” Petersen says. “So when the beers change, so will the food.”
Much of the food – from sausages to pickles and kimchee – will be made in-house and sourced as much as possible from local purveyors. Future plans call for in-house smoked and cured meats.
The beer list will start with 14 taps and soon expand to 22. There will always be at least two beers from Menace on tap, and there will be at least one dedicated, rotating tap for each of the local breweries in the area.
“Our goal is to become a hub for the growing local beer culture,” Buccarelli says. “There are a lot of great things going on here, beer-wise, and we want to highlight that. Plus, we want to get involved in community building, both inside and outside the beer community.”
For instance, Buccarelli plans to invite members of the Bellingham Beer League, the upcoming cooperative brewery incubator, to come to Menace's brewing facility and collaborate on beers that will be served at The Local to draw attention to the project. He plans a similar collaboration with the Bellingham Homebrewers Guild.
To build community within the pub, The Local has started a Mug Club as a way to bring beer lovers together for special events, such as brewery tours, private tastings and other member-exclusive events.
“Downtown is its own neighborhood, but it is also at the center of a lot of other neighborhoods, so we want to be a neighborhood pub for the whole city,” Buccarelli says.
The Local, which is at 1427 Railroad Ave., should be open by the middle of this month (October 2013).
Follow The Local on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Local/191484017685671?ref=br_tf