The owners of The Brew Shop, aka the homebrew shop on Division, have signed a lease for the iconic Ernesto’s building on Third Street. Owner Tom Gilles said he and his partners signed a lease earlier this week that will allow them to open an expanded brew shop and basement pub in the Ernesto’s building by early summer, depending on how their city permitting process goes.
Gilles said the space needs some minor remodeling to suit their needs, but is largely ready to go. The building will allow the Brew Shop to add to its existing inventory, upping the shop’s supply of grains and other accessories that Bend’s growing homebrew community desires. The Brew Shop will also be bringing over its walk-in cooler and expansive collection of bottled microbrews that Bend beer lovers know is unrivaled among Central Oregon suds purveyors. Gilles said the additional space would only add to the dizzying array of ales and lagers at the Brew Shop.
Most interestingly, the new digs will allow Gilles and his partners, all of whom have retired from the Bend post office, to expand into the restaurant and pub business by reincarnating the former Ernesto’s lounge as a downstairs pub. Gilles said the partnership would likely expand the existing bar, a holdover from Ernesto’s, from six handles to something on the order of 15 beers.
While the menu has yet to be finalized, Gilles said he is planning to purchase a smoker and focus on a BBQ-based menu that features briskets, pork shoulders, ribs, as well as burgers and other deep-fried classics. Gilles said patrons could expect to find a few diversions in addition to the food and beer. The pub will include several dartboards and may incorporate a shuffleboard table, something that Gilles said is getting harder to find around town in other bars.