Paso Robles beer drinkers will soon have a new place to enjoy local craft brews.
The city’s Planning Commission recently approved plans for a beer garden, to be located on the Railroad Street property next to Chubby Chandler’s Pizza.
Russell Baker purchased the 13,000-square-foot property for about $440,000 in June after learning the restaurant doesn’t own the site.
Baker, a sales manager for a software company, grew up in the area and recently moved back with his family. He said he’s always wanted to open his own business and saw a chance to create an establishment that would appeal to both locals and tourists.
“I just thought, ‘This is a great opportunity to have a space that could showcase the local craft beer scene,'” Baker said.
The beer garden, to be called The Backyard, will be located on the southeast corner of the property at Railroad and 13th streets. Chubby Chandler’s Pizza will continue serving up slices on the other side of the property, although the restaurant will undergo renovations.
“I wanted to have something a little closer to downtown that could really draw on the foot traffic,” Baker said.
He declined to provide financial information about the cost of the restaurant renovations and the beer garden construction.
One side of the garden will feature a renovated metal storage container with the beer taps and a refrigeration unit, Baker said. Restrooms will be in another storage container, with seating areas in between.
Picnic tables and shaded seating will allow for beer-drinking in any kind of weather. Adults will be able to play a game of bocce ball or corn hole, and a fenced-off play area will make the space more family-friendly.
Baker said customers will be able to enjoy one of 24 beers on tap, with half to act as a “local showcase” and the other half to feature a a rotating selection of craft brews.
A food truck will park nearby on certain nights for hungry customers. Those looking to bring their own food can also buy pizza from Chubby Chandler’s or pick up food from other restaurants.
Baker said crews will likely break ground on the beer garden by early to mid-June. He hopes to have the establishment up and running by late September.
Paso Robles and the surrounding community will be able to enjoy The Backyard, a family friendly biergarten with food, drink and games, in Sep/Oct. 2018. Located at the corner of Railroad and 13th Street and next to Chubby Chandler’s, the biergarten was approved by the Paso Robles Planning Commission at their meeting on Mar. 27 and construction is planned to start in June 2018.
“Traditional beer gardens are about people connecting, bonding and creating a sense of social acceptance through shared experience. Inspired by a handful of beer gardens I’ve visited, I saw the need for a family-friendly outdoor dining space in the downtown area where people can get together, relax and socialize while taking advantage of one of our most valuable commodities, our amazing weather,” said founder and owner Russell Baker, who grew up in the North County and is currently Co-Vice President of the Paso Robles Youth Arts Foundation Board of Directors.
Repurposed shipping containers will be used to construct a bathroom structure, beer serving building and covered seating area, according to Baker. Outdoor seating will be available, including VIP seating, fire pits with s’mores options, and a pet-friendly seating area for leashed pets. Chubby Chandler’s exterior will be updated to match the exterior of The Backyard.
“Our mission statement is to create a family-friendly gathering space within short walking distance from the downtown center square where families, friends and neighbors can commune in a casual, comfortable open-air setting while enjoying a wide selection of rotating taps showcasing local craft beers, great food, games, and ambient music,” said Baker.
The Development Review Committee approved The Backyard plans at their meeting on Feb. 26, with concerns about the parking situation. The biergarten will have six parking spots, and the DRC recommended that additional parking be provided. In addition to the parking spots for customers, there are plans to include a spot for a food truck and bicycle parking.
“The project will certainly revamp a blighted area of a gateway into our downtown… the proposal of this project I believe is a direct results of the City Council’s move to enhance zoning uses in the downtown commercial areas to the north of 13th Street,” said planning commissioner chairperson John Donaldson.
Snacks will be available to purchase at The Backyard and customers are encouraged to order food at Chubby Chandler’s, downtown restaurants, or bring their own picnic. Beer and non-alcoholic drinks can be purchased. There are plans to have live music and DJ’s at the biergarten and the venue can be rented out for special events.
Since the establishment is family-friendly, there are outdoor games and activities for guests to enjoy. Some of these games include spikeball, a giant chess board, bean bag toss, a hopscotch, Teeter-Totter and more.
The Backyard will be open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Hours may change seasonally.