Planning: Roses and Thorns

From the beginning there was always a thought that we might want to open a Dead Bird Brewing taproom. As that want became a need we started keeping track of all the ideas we came up with over time. Every time one of us went into a brewery, bar, brewpub, or restaurant we’d look around and pick our rose and thorn for the place. We’d ask our friends, “What do you love about this place and what do you really not like?” All those ideas would be jotted down on napkins, post-it notes, scraps of paper, or a quick snapshot. Now in 2018 four years of scraps needed to come together in cohesive plan.

Sketch of a potential bar option.

Sketch of a potential bar option.

The main thing that helped bind these ideas together was finding our official space. Having almost wound up in a different space on Water St we had an idea of how to pull those bits together. The North 5th St space provided different obstacles. With its big arched concrete roof, poured concrete floor, and cream city brick walls we knew right off the bat that sound mitigation would be an issue. Time and again the thorn of many a bar and restaurant was, “I can’t hear anyone. It’s too loud.” With a hard echo box we knew we’d have to bring in lots of “soft” surfaces. So we decided to use lots of wood. The tables would be wood. The old cinder block insets would be covered with wood. The bar and barback would be wood. We’d use as much old barn wood and Wisconsin reclaimed timber as we could to make sure that sound would not be an issue. Especially with an arcade creating more noise.

If noise was always a thorn, the rose was almost always games. Board games, table games, console games, and arcade games, always were a nice perk at many of the successful place. Plus people tend to hang out more if they have something to do. The fact that our Brewmaster is a nerd almost guaranteed games of some sort, but having space for a full stand up arcade made it a for sure. We left plenty of space for a dozen rotating arcade games. In addition to the newer forms of entertainment we also loved having a few older options, bocce and feather bowling are both on the docket.

With so much thought put into our future taproom its exciting to see it coming together. Next week we’ll cover our plans for the outdoor space!

Nick Kocis