Photo: The current store at 51 Leonard
The owners of the successful Craft Beer Cellars at 51 Leonard St. in Belmont Center is moving their flagship store down the street and into the former Foodies Market site at the corner of Alexander Avenue where it will join a new restaurant/bar venture the partners had longed sought to open.
“The plan is to create a family friendly and welcoming environment, both inside and out, for all people,” said Suzanne Schalow, who with partner Kate Baker opened the business in November 2010.
And the move of the current shop and the new restaurant were made “official” as the Select Board granted last week a full liquor license for the restaurant and a second license for the beer store’s new location.
And the eatery will be called Trinktisch, German for “drink table.” [Trinktisch is also a popular game in Germany among teens and young adults similar to Shoots and Ladders/Chutes and Ladders.] And while food will be featured at the site, Schalow said they will not be competing directly with the other eateries on the street.
“Certainly ‘beer’ is currently our middle name so we plan to largely support that as we go forth into the world,” she said.
While a request for a new liquor license or its transfer can be contentious, the board’s sentiment to the requests was framed by Chair Roy Epstein who found only one misstep in the application: a missing umlaut over a letter in the menu.
The lack of any conflict between town and business was due in no great part that the owners have been the definition of good business stewards for the past decade, according to Board Member Adam Dash.
“I think an expansion of an existing successful business is a good thing to see,” said Dash. “It’s a great addition to the Center.”
And the public’s viewpoint was just as supportive as Alexander Avenue resident and School Committee Chair Andrea Prestwich proclaimed, “Go beer ladies. We love you.”
The restaurant will have approximately 2,400 square feet of bar space with just under 10,000 square feet of common seating, a kitchen, four restrooms, office and meeting spaces and an events space. The bar/eatery will be adjacent to the new location of the Beer Cellar which take 3,800 square feet, It will have a 200-square foot walk-in refrigerator
The Trinktisch will service beer, wine and cider along with non-alcoholic beverages. Schalow said it will also have a limited menu that will source local suppliers.
The restaurant/bar will be located on the lower level of the building and will be accessed by three entries – one on Leonard Street and two off the Locatelli parking lot adjacent to Claflin Street.
“Kate and I never forget, for one second that having a liquor license … is not our right, it’s a privilege. And we think about that every single day when we get up and go to work and we make sure that we’re upholding the virtues and the values that are required by business owners that have a liquor license,” said Schalow.
“I don’t think that’s the same everywhere but we’re not trying to compare ourselves to other people. We’re just trying to do what we feel is right and take care of a community that we do really care about.”