A new bar is taking shape in Belmont Village in the heart of midtown Kitchener-Waterloo, but this isn't going to be your ordinary pub. Arabella Park, situated behind The Culinary Studio at the top of Belmont Village is going to be a Beer Bar. Chatting with Stephen Cleary, the newly appointed Cellarman for Arabella Park, he talks about the beautiful bars and the amazing beer scene in Copenhagen, and how the German beer culture underlies a lot of what Arabella Park is going to be. Even their brand and name are derived from a subway stop in Munich, Germany. Their logo, a representation of a 52 meter high ornate sculpture called the Mae West that resides on the Effnerplatz in Munich.
Outside, several new holes have been opened in the building and steel beams span where massive glass roll-up doors will let summer air and bright sunlight in. Bob Schnurr and daughter Natalie, owners, have recently exposed the brick of the building and indicate they'll be painting it dark grey. Bob talks more about the deep solid colours he wants to use from greys on the outside to whitewashed wood surfaces on the inside evoking images of German Festhalles.
Inside, Cellarman Stephen gives the tour of the heart of Arabella Park: the bar. 18 taps will be embedded in a glass wall. They plan to serve a rotating variety of beers that will include some not available through retail in KW. In order to fill those taps Stephen says he's looking at both local breweries, but also at places like the well established Quebec micro-brew beer scene. Beneath the taps is designated for fridges that will hold bottled brews to provide even more variety for patrons looking for unique and new beers.
Bob, Natalie and Stephen all have experience in this kind of venture from Halifax based Stillwell Bar. The experience they have shows in the well thought out design of the Kitchener spin-off. The fridges housing the beer are in fact, three separate units so Stephen can keep all the beer varieties as close as possible to their intended serving temperatures. There will be no wait staff, but the massive bar which spans 3/4 of the inside space will have seating only at the extreme ends allowing lots of room for patrons to approach the taps and bartenders.
The rest of the bar definitely takes a page out of German beer hall design with proposed long wooden community tables and an upper mezzanine for group gatherings that opens up to the excitement of the main floor. The newly appointed head chef hails from experience in Stratford's food scene and is being brought in to run the full service kitchen. He's already talking about curing his own meats for in-house charcuterie.
Arabella Park Beer Bar is scheduled to open later this year.
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Preparing the opening for the rollup doors.
View of the upper mezzanine at the back of the space.
18 taps will come through the wall at the bar.
Rollup doors installed.