A major drinks destination is in the works for 2021. After announcing plans last December, Here Today — a massive brewpub from the co-owners of acclaimed Belltown bars No Anchor, Vinnie’s, and Rob Roy — is about to launch a money-raising effort through WeFunder in a push to open downtown next June.
Located near the former Old Spaghetti Factory building, overlooking the waterfront at 10 Clay Street, the brewery and kitchen will be a sizable space with tropical decor, and feature a list of beers brewed on site. These will include multiple IPAs, a rice lager, a saison with piloncillo, a hoppy wheat ale with pandan leaf, and Grodziskie (a low-alcohol smoked wheat beer with historical roots in Poland).
The brewery will also have spirits-free cocktails on draft, which aims to let drinkers mix and match with their preferred booze, and allow those refraining from alcohol to have all the same flavor options. Cam Hanin — of the acclaimed pop-up Guerrilla Pizza Kitchen — has been tapped to work on the menu, but things are still coming into focus on the food side.
The project was originally planned to open this summer before the pandemic threw that timeline off. Also, Mario Cortes, formerly the head brewer at Woods Beer & Wine in San Francisco has replaced beer industry star Averie Swanson in handling the main brewing effort, as Swanson is now focusing on a different project in Chicago.
Even though it’s had to roll with some changes, Here Today’s team is enthusiastic with the way things are coming together, and the fundraising campaign (launching later this week or early next) should help bring things closer to the finish line. The business partners say they chose WeFunder over more common platforms such as GoFundMe, since the former is more of a hybrid between crowdfunding and outreach to certified investors, giving them a broader breadth of options.
For the brewery’s co-owners, location is a big part of the project’s appeal, even though the area around the waterfront has seen its share of challenges this year. Iconic Ivar’s Acres of Clams decided to close until the spring because of the drastic downturn in business during the pandemic, and worries over infrastructure near the waterfront linger after the recent collapse of Pier 58.
Still, Here Today’s co-owner Chris Elford thinks the new brewery will help reenergize the area when it opens.
“We expect to make a big splash in the very special beer scene here, but I must stress we are equally stoked to be doing something cool on the waterfront, which has historically largely been more touristy and less mom-n-pop indie spots,” he says. “This time to refocus has really given Here Today a clear scope and we can’t wait to get those doors open next year.”
- Here Today [Official]