Two days prior to the opening of the new Grapes n’ Growlers location in Felida, co-owner Tom Mahoney’s head was churning with excitement and anticipation.
However, Mahoney’s feeling of exhilaration wasn’t necessarily centered on his newest business venture with his wife, Paige, and friends, Ashley and Amanda Cahoon.
No, Mahoney had his mind on a different kind of kickoff – as in the game that he and Ashley Cahoon attended on Oct. 21 between USC and Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., a trip two years in the making.
“It was one of those things we had to delay to enjoy the game,” Mahoney said of having the opening of the newest Grapes n’ Growlers’ location on Oct. 23, two days after the game. “… If we didn’t, we’d be sitting there at the football game thinking about it the whole time.”
Just a little more than two and a half years since the Mahoneys and Cahoons opened Grapes n’ Growlers (www.grapesngrowlers.com) in east Vancouver, comes their second location at 10714 NW Lakeshore Avenue, Suite 105, in Felida, which could prove just as popular as the original location in time.
The space is 2,000 square feet with a few televisions scattered throughout – but that’s not the focus here. There are two glass garage doors that will be open during warmer months that will eventually open to outdoor seating for hop heads and families alike.
“I’ve been waiting for this,” said Justin Hite of Washougal, a frequent customer at the original location. “I’m a stout supporter of theirs. I think it’s a great location.”
Grapes n’ Growlers and StarCycle Indoor Cycling are the first tenants to open in Erickson Farms in Felida. There will eventually be a coffee shop, a nail salon and a Mexican restaurant.
So, why did Mahoney choose Felida?
“We saw a need in Felida,” Mahoney said. “It seems a little underserved, so we just wanted to bring a good craft beer and draft wine scene to the area. As we were looking around (for a location), we realized that Felida was a natural fit.”
Grapes n’ Growlers, which is family friendly at all hours and offers snacks and Panini sandwiches such as the “Albuquerque Turkey” – think roasted turkey, avocado, mozzarella and Hatch Green Chile – have been hits at the location in east Vancouver. Ashley Cahoon presides over the menu.
The Hatch Green Chile is Mahoney’s idea, as he came to the Pacific Northwest from Albuquerque.
“We wanted to bring a different kind of feel instead of the standard pub fare,” Cahoon said. “Chances are you’ll find something on the menu you’ll like.”
And, of course, there’s beer – though there’s much more on the menu.
Grapes n’ Growlers offers a mesmerizing electronic board behind the bar that profiles all 54 offerings on tap, the cost and also how far into the kegs they are, making it easy to tell which drafts are the most popular.
Thirty-five of the taps are for beer, local and regional, including a special Felida Fresh Hop made with tasty mosaic hops, a collaboration beer made with Backwoods Brewing Company in Carson.
There are also eight draft wines on tap, four taps designated for Kombucha, five ciders and one nonalcoholic root beer. In short, there’s something for everyone.
Mahoney and Cahoon even splurged on a crowler machine for his location, and is one of the few in the area to offer crowlers. A crowler machine is an innovative canning solution designed to seal 32 ounces of fresh craft beer to go that, when unopened, will stay fresh for a month or so.
And today’s beer list, Mahoney said, might look dramatically different from the list served a week later. That’s by design.
“We rotate everything,” Mahoney said. “When we get a beer, we’re not going to put that back on, it’s a constant rotation. We’re always staying ahead of what’s new and what’s great. And we want people to try different styles.”
Mahoney and his family moved to the Pacific Northwest from New Mexico just more than five years ago and he was immediately blown away by the beer in this region – not just the many breweries, but the different styles of beer as well.
“I was blown away by the craft beer being produced in the Pacific Northwest and the West Coast,” he said. “And that’s what we want to showcase. There are some absolutely amazing beers in this area that we don’t have to go far for.”
And now, residents in west Vancouver won’t have to go far to get their fill of craft beer and tasty Panini sandwiches in a family friendly environment.
“I think it’s great,” said Marty Tremaine, who works in Vancouver, who stopped in for lunch on a fall afternoon. “I’ve helped open breweries in Oregon … and these guys (Mahoney and Cahoon) have done a great job. The attention to detail is spot on, and the service has been great.”