Vashon Brewing Community Pub will close temporarily later this month, but when it reopens, the managers are promising a revamped atmosphere for customers — and even a hint of flavor from the Dominican Republic.
Baynody Méndez Jiménez and his father-in-law, Cliff Goodman, told The Beachcomber that the business will shut down from Feb. 18-28 for interior modifications and reopen Feb. 29.
But what’s also been brewing, so to speak, at one of the island’s many eateries along the main drag are changes to its operations.
“I’m really excited for the changes. I think it’s going to be great,” Jiménez said.
Goodman was running the pub, but he wanted to switch to brewing, which Jiménez had been doing. When the pub reopens, Jiménez will be running it.
“It was Baynody’s ideas and his energy, coupled with my wanting to go back to brewing, which triggered a change,” Goodman said. “I thought … why not switch roles, give him the opportunity to get his ideas out, and then I get to go back to brewing the beer. It seemed like this was a good time to make a change.”
The pub boasts a “nice rotating selection of beers” (close to 10), according to Goodman, but come the end of the month, Vashon Brewing Community Pub will add to that by featuring one new beer a month.
A few other changes to the pub have to do with its menu. Vashon Brewing Community Pub lacks a commercial kitchen, so Goodman and Jiménez are considering having food trucks visit often for a “guest chef night.” The opportunity to bring in food to the premises from other places to eat on the island will be allowed.
“Our focus is on beverages; not on food,” Goodman said. “So we’ll provide a simple menu but give people different options for expanding that if they want.”
Since Vashon Brewing Community Pub has been open, the establishment has offered “pub bites,” but Jiménez wants to add some food from his native Dominican Republic. It’s the place where he grew up before moving to the island after marrying Goodman’s daughter.
“Every place you go in the Dominican Republic, even if they don’t know you, they’re going to open the door to their house for you; they’re going to offer you something to drink, something to eat,” Jiménez said. “That’s something that I want to offer to people here.”
He described Dominican food as flavorful and not overly spicy.
Goodman is optimistic about how cuisine from one island will be received on another. He recalled his daughter’s wedding to Jiménez, set in the D.R., where the family saw the village where the couple met and stayed at Jiménez’s parents’ house.
“It was a phenomenal experience,” Goodman said, “So the idea of Baynody bringing a little bit of that into this place was really exciting.”
When Vashon Brewing Community Pub reopens, its hours of operation will have changed. The business will be open from 2 to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday and closed on Monday.
Goodman admits making the pub’s changes have not been easy because he and Jiménez are not “restauranteurs.”
“For us, it’s been kind of a struggle to have the food simple enough that we’re comfortable preparing it and yet having enough options to satisfy the needs of our customers,” he said. “It’s like a two-part solution. One is [having] a core, basic menu that’s simple for us and looking at ways to add more options.”
Goodman said Vashon Brewing Community Pub is not trying to compete with other eateries on the island because it’s “a different experience” from those places.
“Here, it’s more free-form,” Goodman said. “You come in when you want, you leave when you want; there’s no timetable. So, we want an atmosphere whether people feel comfortable coming by themselves or with friends and family and just enjoying the space for as short or as long as they want to. It’s a very different experience than going to a traditional restaurant.”