What was once the Epicure, a long-gone restaurant and meeting place that would host many a Kiwanis pancake fundraiser back in its day, is now this sprawling beer hall. And Deming Maclise, a man who knows a thing or two about building neighborhood gathering hubs like Rhein Haus and Bastille, says he hopes Beer Star will serve that same purpose for White Center once again.
Well 48 taps, nearly all of them beer, is a great way to start. Beer Star officially opens today at 4pm, though regular hours will be from noon until late.
Maclise, along with partners James Weimann, Deveaux Hill, Galen Krohn, and Patrick Riggs, have built out a low-frills space with ample seating at the bar, in booths, and tables, both inside and out on the patio bedecked with string lights. That's not the say there aren't creature comforts: an island of snacks, chips, and crackers as well as a small case of local cheeses and charcuterie await your menu development skills. There are a few outlets at the bar along the window. Board games are near the back. And it wouldn't be a Maclise and Weimann joint without a couple of statement light fixtures, like the 10-foot wood ring giants suspended from the high ceiling.
A cooler brimming with a few hundred bottles and packs of beer, local and non, glow in the middle of the shop. There's nonalcoholic options in there too, being the family friendly place that it is, further evidenced by the root beer, kombucha, and cold brew on tap and the chalkboard wall in the kid's corner.
Speaking of taps, the likes of Holy Mountain, Figurehead, Stoup Brewing grace the reader board. There's a beer style for everyone, including people who prefer cider, wine, or no alcohol at all. Maclise says everything will be changing out readily, so the best way to keep tabs on the taps is through Digital Pour, an app that will soon track what's still available, almost gone, or coming up for Beer Star's lineup.
As for food options: bring in anything, anytime, like pizza or pho from across the street. Li'l Woody's should be opening soon in the next few weeks. When open look forward to more seating in the space, just past the cooler, plus a special Beer Star burger. Chinese Takeout is the name of the other dining choice at Beer Star, opening later this year. As the name implies, there will be those Chinese takeout favorites, done up with locally sourced ingredients and some creative twists here and there.