After more than a year of work, Grantville-based Benchmark Brewing will open its new Bay Park tasting room on Friday, July 13. Located at 4112 Napier Street, the space comes in at roughly 1,000 square feet and has room to fit 48 thirsty imbibers who can order from up to a dozen offerings on the beer board, including a new “Bay Park IPA” hopped with Amarillo and Citra. As part of the “squishy” opening, patrons can purchase limited-edition pint glasses decorated with Mission Bay-inspired artwork.
The new space intermingles the building’s exposed brick with elements from the original Benchmark tasting room, like wood paneling, corrugated metal, and picnic tables, in keeping with Benchmark’s campy, parks-and-rec motif. And like the original location, rotating local art will adorn the walls in Bay Park. Seating is currently limited to the picnic tables and seats around an L-shaped bar at the center of the room, but eventually will include cushioned armchairs and tall bar tables.
In addition to the tasting room and a small, enclosed front porch equipped with roll-up garage doors, the property includes a covered back area registering around 1,800 square feet. Conflicting State and City building codes proved very difficult to satisfy, leading owners Matt and Rachael Akin to downsize the project in order to get open. At some point, they plan on revitalizing their efforts to make use of that space. For now, they’ll work with what they have without cutting down on events like brewer-guided beer tastings, live music, and crafting events.
While the Akins expect to be open seven days a week, they have yet to establish hours of operation. Their plan is to start with hours similar to those observed at their Grantville tasting room, then feel out their neighborhood and patrons at the new space before setting anything in stone. They are encouraged by the fact they can remain open until midnight. The initial staffing plan for the Bay Park space will see the Akins and their Grantville staff rotating behind the bar so they can provide a service experience similar to the original venue. The Akins advise checking Benchmark’s social media platforms for the latest on hours of operation until an official schedule is put into place.