Craftsmen Kitchen and Tap House has its building permit in hand and is ready to start construction. At a media walk-through this morning, architect David Thompson said they were hoping to start swinging hammers today. The space, formerly Johnson's Pub at 12 Cumberland St., has been stripped down to its bones — and what nice bones they are.
The rooms are spacious with original brick walls and high ceilings. They have plans for two bar rooms, a dining area, and an outdoor patio, with a total of about 100 seats inside and out. Furniture maker (and craftsmen) Michael Moran will handcraft much of the interior, from the bars and tables to a display case, which can house anything from T-shirts to beer-making paraphernalia. All of the wood will be sourced from a red oak that fell in a storm in Greenwood, S.C. As Moran said, "Nothing had to be killed unnecessarily for this project."
What to do with the outdoor patio is still up for some debate, but Thompson says ultimately they want it to be an "urban outdoor space."
We got the lowdown on the food last month from chef/partner Todd Garrigan, who has been working on his "homage to bar food" menu: scotch eggs, bar nuts, a really outstanding burger, wings, beer and cheese. He expects to play around a lot with beer, whether that means using a different beer every day for beer-battered fish and chips or always having a "beer dinner menu," with smaller portions and prices to allow you to sample several plates and ales. "We're trying to bridge that beer and food gap," he says.
As for the beer, we got some more details on what the offerings will be. Garrigan says they'll have 48 taps total, with 12 dedicated to local breweries and 12 dedicated to pale ales. Now, the original idea for an all-IPA bar has been refined to being a "pale room," which will explore the full scope of pale ales, from the hoppy India Pale Ales (IPA) to the new Black Pale Ale style to the classic American Pale Ale (APA).
Garrigan says they will also experiment with cask ales, tapping a cask on Thursday to have for the weekend crowds. If there's demand, they might have more than one cask at a time.
They expect to be open sometime in July.