UPDATED: Restaurant Notes: Birdboy Brewing opening Roanoke taproom; Three Rivers Distilling tasting room almost ready
Editor’s note: This column has been updated with photos and a menu for Birdboy Brewing’s taproom.
Birdboy Brewing will hold a grand opening Sunday for its taproom at 314 N. Main St., Roanoke.
Birdboy, owned by brewer Ben Thompson, will serve bar food made by Joseph Decuis, according to Alice Eshelman, co-owner of the nearby fine dining restaurant.
Birdboy will hold its grand opening at 5 p.m. Sunday, New Year’s Eve. Hours will be 5-10 p.m. Monday-Friday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.
The address is listed as the “Old Coil Factory” and has over 37,000 square feet of space with exposed rafter beams and original brick.
Birdboy, 210 E. Collins Road, is also currently working on a collaboration with Sol Kitchen Food Truck to open Sol Kitchen/Birdboy Brewing Co., which will be in the former Friends location at 1824 W. Dupont Road.
Birdboy, named for Fort Wayne’s adventurous pioneer aviator Art “Birdboy” Smith, opened in 2015. It’s currently hiring bartenders for the Roanoke location.
Aaron Pence of Three Rivers Distilling Co. is hoping the company’s tasting room will be ready by mid-January.
It will be a few months behind earlier expectations, but things are coming together. Fort Wayne’s first craft distillery makes bourbon, corn whiskey, vodka, gin and some other spirits at 224 E. Wallace St. that it sells at a number of places throughout the state as well as around Cincinnati and Louisville and Lexington, Ky.
Pence hopes in January that it will be selling its award-winning spirits in its own tasting room. For a company that opened in March 2016, it’s growing quickly and earning notice.
Among its 2017 honors, its Three Rivers Early Bourbon won gold and Best in State at the Heartland Whiskey Competition, and its Harvester Vodka – made with Indiana-grown corn and named for the former International Harvester truck company that once operated in southeast Fort Wayne – took bronze medals from American Craft Spirits Association and American Distilling Institute.
The company, co-founded by 122nd Fighter Wing friends Travis Kraick and Stephen Blevins in a 7,108-square-foot industrial building, looks to double in size with the addition of the tasting room and outdoor area. The industrial-feeling tasting room with a bar will seat 80, said Pence, co-owner and vice president of sales and marketing and another 122nd member. A glass folding wall will give easy access to the biergarten, which will be able to seat 232 in good weather in the spring. An exterior bar will seat about 30 more. The patio is surrounded by a snaking black wrought-iron fence bought from a Chicago estate.
It will also have an entertainment area with bocce ball and shuffleboard.
In Indiana, to sell alcohol on premises a business must serve food, so a kitchen is in the rear. To hold down on startup costs, the kitchen doesn’t have a hood exhaust system, but plans are to add one down the road.
“We’ll do everything you can do with panini presses, waffle irons, and soups and things like that,” he said.
They planned to advertise for a chef soon if they haven’t already.
Since opening it has had a lounge in the front that overlooks the distillery. Against a wall are lockers with lights and liquor inside. Pence said plans are to make create CEO memberships for those who want to bring guests there to entertain.
Have restaurant news? Call Lisa M. Esquivel Long at 260-461-8354, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org or a fax to 260-461-8817 or write Restaurant Notes, C/O The News-Sentinel, PO Box 102, Fort Wayne, IN 46802.