Islander Cliff Goodman’s Community Pub, an outgrowth of his Vashon Brewing Company, opened on May 19 at its location in Vashon Village. The pub is set to host a grand opening on June 2 complete with ribbon cutting, special promotions and live music.
“What we’re doing here is, we’re calling it our community pub, and we wanted it to be more than just a brewery,” said Goodman. “We wanted it to be community-oriented and family friendly and really make it open to the community.”
The pub serves up Vashon-sourced beverages such as wine, cider and Behesht Kombucha in addition to beer brewed with Western Washington barley produced by the Skagit Valley Malting company.
“The thing that I’m really excited about, aside from the fact that it’s local, is that we can choose the variety of barley that we use. And there’s hundreds of thousands,” said Goodman.
The early days of the business have gone well.
“We’ve been really pleased with the reception,” he said. “The thing that I noticed was that people just loved the outdoor seating. People are dragging stools even up to the makeshift counters. They really liked that.”
Goodman added that he was looking forward to opening up a private, outdoor area behind the pub, which still requires furniture and more gravel.
Old brewery bottles were used to create sconces for the pub’s light fixtures hanging above the bar top, which is a solid slab of maple that was harvested on the island.
According to Goodman, the number one sale so far is a beer flight: four trial-sized beverages arranged in a row on a small wooden holder, perfect for couples or groups of the curious and uninitiated who aren’t ready to try a pint yet. One of the pub’s most popular IPAs on tap, called Aromatherapy, was brewed “with the goal of having a moderate amount of bitterness for an IPA but an equal amount of aroma and flavor,” said Goodman, who also recommends another brew called Hop Rod.
“That has more alcohol, and it’s hop, so it’s bitter. That appeals to other IPA drinkers. It depends on which spectrum they want,” he said.
Goodman noted that the next step for his offerings will be to feature drinks brewed with barley grown on Vashon, but that won’t begin until next year.
The pub offers a limited selection of plates, small bites and savory treats to order hot, made off-site by Michaella Olavarri of Mica’s Kitchen.
“She’s our off-site commissary,” said Goodman. “She will be incorporating locally produced meats, vegetables and producing a really nice pub menu.”
Goodman believes that the niche of the pub is one that has not been filled on the island until now.
“We didn’t want to be a bar; we didn’t want to be a restaurant; we didn’t want to be a coffee shop, but we like aspects of each for the small plates and the variety of local beverages, a space that is family friendly. All of that, we thought, made a compelling place for islanders and for the tourists to hang out and enjoy a nice time,” he said. “This has been a couple years in the works, and what it came down to was, I knew we wanted to go this route. It was just a matter of finding the right space.”
Vashon Brewing’s Community Pub is open from noon to 9 p.m. Thursday through Monday at Vashon Village.