by Tara Morgan
Downtown Boise may be up to its Black Butte in craft brews and pub food, but Garden City hasn’t hit the tipping point yet. That’s why Crooked Fence Brewing is venturing into the brewpub business with a new concept called Crooked Fence Barrelhouse.
“It’s always kind of been in the plans for us to have something with food accompanying the beer,” said Crooked Fence’s Kelly Knopp. “It definitely was probably more in our 5- to 10-year plan, but the growth has been so good that we decided we’d just do it now.”
The Barrelhouse will be located at 5181 Glenwood St., in the Revolution Concert House complex, and the space will keep the aesthetic of the nearby Crooked Fence tasting room, which will remain open.
“It’s going to be in the style of our brewery with more of a rustic, lot of wood, saloon style,” said Knopp. “We’ll have a big dining area that will be all-ages, and then we’ll have a half-wall separating that with a bar. Then we’ll also have a side area, which will be like pool tables and shuffleboard and more of a lounge style.”
Knopp said the bar will feature mainly Crooked Fence beers, along with a couple of guest handles and special brews barrel-aged in-house.
"We’ll have Barrelhouse handles, and that’s going to be beer that’s made inside of the restaurant. We’ll have a smaller brew system in there, and those will be exclusively sold out of that place so they won’t be distributed anywhere," said Knopp. "And they're all going to be barrel-aged, so we’ll do a lot of experimental beers—with whiskey barrels and wine barrels and port barrels."
As for the grub?
“Kind of an upper-scale pub fare,” said Knopp. “We’re going to source as much stuff locally as we can, try not to freeze anything so everything will be really fresh. Typical hamburgers, sandwiches, stuff you normally find but just fresher, a little more upscale.”
Crooked Fence patron and chef Frank Garro will take the helm in the kitchen.
"He’s been a longtime customer at Crooked Fence and we just kind of found out how passionate he is about food and it turned out he was pretty experienced," said Knopp.
Crooked Fence Barrelhouse plans to open by Saturday, June 15. Knopp is optimistic that the Garden City location will be a good fit for the concept.
"We figured with the horse track and Hawks Stadium, the Fairgrounds, Revolution Concert House, just the amount of traffic. It’s also away from downtown, so we feel like we’re not competing directly with some of our accounts," said Knopp. "It’s just an underserved area that we feel like needs it."